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Day in Rock Report for 02/01/2017

Today's Day in Rock Stories

Asia Frontman John Wetton Dead At 67

(hennemusic) Asia vocalist and bassist John Wetton died Tuesday (January 31st) at the age of 67 following a three-year battle with colon cancer. Wetton recently advised fans that was to undergo a new medical chemotherapy procedure that would sideline him from the group's appearance on the upcoming Yes-hosted Cruise To The Edge event and the spring leg of a North American tour with Journey.

The bassist revealed that Billy Sherwood from Yes would step in to cover his duties on the pair of treks. "It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have to report we have lost my dearest friend, brother, bandmate and long term musical collaborator, John Wetton, who has passed away after a long and tenacious battle with cancer," says Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes. "He will be remembered as one of the world's finest musical talents, and I for one of many was wholly blessed by his influence. It was a massive privilege for me to have worked with this genius so closely on our numerous projects together over the years. His bass playing was revolutionary. His voice was from the gods. His compositions - out of this world. His sense of melody and harmony - unreal. He was literally a 'special one'.

"Life will not be the same without him," he adds. "And words are not really enough to describe the loss I feel right now, and the many friends and fans all over the world will also be feeling. It is the end of an era for all of us. But we will soldier on - the music of John Wetton needs to be heard loud and clear from the rooftops. Dearest John, may you rest in peace brother."

"With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant," says Asia drummer Carl Palmer. "John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of Asia to the top of the charts around the world.

"His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle. For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humor and his infectious smile. May you ride easy, my old friend." Read more here.

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Axl Rose Fronted AC/DC Surprised Phil Rudd

Former AC/DC Phil Rudd has changed his tune about Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose singing for the band and now says that he was "quite surprised" at how well Rose did with the gig.

This is in stark contrast to comments he made last year about the Rose fronted AC/DC. He was asked at the time about his willingness to rejoin the legendary band and said, "If Angus wanted me to play, then that's up to him. But I don't really want to play with Axl Rose. I don't really rate him."

Now Rudd says in a new interview with Music Radar that he was surprised at how well Axl did with the group. "I watched some clips the other day of Axl singing with the boys. I was surprised; it wasn't too bad. I was quite surprised, I thought he did quite well and that's not an easy gig, mate, it's not an easy gig at all. AC/DC is a tough gig for everyone in the band.

"I saw Angus jamming with Guns N' Roses as well. Apart from watching those clips though I don't know what's going to happen or what's going on with the band." Read more here.

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Bob Dylan Announces New Triple Album

Music legend Bob Dylan has announced that he will be releasing a new triple disc album appropriately entitled "Triplicate" on March 30th that will feature his take on 30 classic American songs.

The recent Nobel Prize winner has given each album in the three discs set their own unique titles: "'Til The Sun Goes Down", "Devil Dolls" and "Comin' Home Late".

The physical media version of "Triplicate" is set to be released in various formats including a 3 CD 8-Panel Digipak, a standard 3 LP vinyl edition and a special 3 LP limited edition vinyl package in a numbered case. Preorder the standard editions here and the limited edition here.

Dylan recorded the album with producer Jack Frost and his touring band at Hollywood's Capitol studios. See the tracklistings for each individual album here.

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Bad Brains Frontman To Have Brain Surgery

Bad Brains frontman H.R. revealed in a new interview for an upcoming episode of the Loudwire Podcast that he will be undergoing brain surgery on February 21st.

The singer has been suffering severe cluster headaches from a neurobiological disorder and he will be having the surgery in hopes of improving the condition.

"[My wife] took me to the hospital so I would learn about what was going on in my head, because I was experiencing bad headaches at the time," H.R. told the site. "And the doctor came to me and he said we're going to have a surgery."

He said that he is currently dealing with the disorder with a "cocktail of pharmaceuticals" as well as with some holistic treatments. "I've been dealing with spiralina, wheatgrass, goldenseal and Vitamin A, D and C. I did experience some improvement with these." Read the report for more details here.

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Skid Row Smash Reunion Hopes With New Announcement

(New Rock Times) Skid Row have quashed any faint hopes of a rumored reunion with former frontman Sebastian Bach by confirmed ZP Threart as their full-time vocalist.

The former Dragonforce frontman was drafted in to front Skid Row two years ago following the 2015 split with Tony Harnell. Skid Row then revealed plans to record with Threat before Christmas with the singer also hitting the road as a touring member of the band. But now the band have confirmed Threart's position as a full-time member of Skid Row with a statement on social media.

The band say in a statement: "It's official! After touring with the band for the past year, ZP Theart has been named the new lead singer for Skid Row. "The announcement originally came on stage during a performance in Nova Scotia to an overwhelming response. That was their first show of 2017.

"The band is now busy writing songs for the final installment of their United World Rebellion trilogy and plans to hit the road in April." See the Facebook post here.

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Metallica Release Video Of Live Debut Of New Song

(hennemusic) Metallica have released official live footage of the debut performance of the "Hardwired…To Self Destruct" track, "Confusion", from a January 18 show at LeSports Center in Beijing, China.

The tune was one three tracks from the band's latest album to make their first appearances in the setlist during the group's recent series of shows across Asia, alongside the debuts of "Now That We're Dead" and "Halo On Fire" at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea on January 11.

Metallica will next perform at the Grammy Awards in sync with their nomination for the project's lead single, "Hardwired", in the Best Rock Song category alongside tunes by David Bowie ("Blackstar"), Radiohead ("Burn The Witch"), Twenty-One Pilots ("Heathens") and Highly Suspect ("My Name Is Human").

"We have something very unique and special planned for this celebratory night," says the band, "so tune in to watch." Check out the video here.

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Dave Mustaine, Randy Blythe, Max Cavalera On New Body Count Album

Ice-T revealed in a Twitter exchange with a fan on Monday that the forthcoming Body Count album will feature guest appearances from Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe and Max Cavalera.

The iconic rapper broke the new after being asked by a fan on the social media site if the new album would feature any special guests. He responded, "Yep.. Dave Mustaine, Max Cavalera & Randy Blythe are featured on the Album."

The new album from the rapper's metal group is set to be entitled "Bloodlust" and expected to be will be released some time later this year. The first single, "No Lives Matter", will be released on February 17th. A preview trailer clip for the track can be viewed here.

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John McLaughlin Teaming With Jimmy Herring For Farewell Tour

Guitar icon John McLaughlin has announced that he will be launching his U.S. farewell tour this fall and will be joined by Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic, Allman Brothers Band) on the trek.

The Meeting of the Spirits tour is set to kick off on November 1st in Buffalo, NY at University at Buffalo Center for the Arts and will visit 23 cities in total before wrapping up on December 9th in Los Angeles at the Royce Hall @ UCLA.

According to the announcement Herring and McLaughlin will both be playing their own sets, followed by them sharing the stage for an "expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material."

McLaughlin also plans to release a new album before the tour gets underway with details to be announced soon. See the dates here.

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Phish Launching 'The Baker's Dozen' Residency At Famed Venue

Acclaimed jam band Phish have announced that they will be taking over Madison Square Garden for a 13-show residency this summer that they are calling 'The Baker's Dozen' .

The band will be performing the first show on July 21st and will perform the additional concerts on the 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, August 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and will conclude on August 6th.

They are offering a special ticket package that includes all 13 shows for the prize of 12. They have launched the "online ticket request period" for the package as well as individual shows via their website that will run until February 12th at 11:59 pm eastern. The public on sale is set to begin at noon eastern on February 17th. Check out the presale here.

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Procol Harum Announce First Album In 14 Years

Rock legends Procol Harum have announced that they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with the release of their first new studio album in fourteen years this spring.

The new album will be entitled "Novum" and is scheduled to hit stores on April 21st in a standard CD format as well as 2LP vinyl edition. It will be preceded with the single "Sunday Morning", which the band will release on April 7th.

Band leader Gary Brooker had these comments, "Our last studio album was in 2003, and with 2017 being 50 years of Procol Harum, something special was needed, which has resulted in a new album of new songs with the band as we've stood for the past decade, all contributing with producer Dennis Weinreich to make what I believe to be one of the finest Procol Harum albums ever - 'Novum' - just listen." See the tracklisting here.

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Riotous Indignation Release The End Video

Chicago hardcore and thrash band Riotous Indignation tackle the epidemic of violence in their home town in the brand new video for their track "The End", which comes from their debut album "Violentus Musicae".

Vocalist and guitarist Mike Repel explain the inspiration for the track, "This song and video were inspired by the ongoing and pervasive gun violence that has been a growing problem for decades in Chicago.

"This song is actually written from the victims perspective in a drive-by shooting. As he faces his demise, he reflects on the misdeeds he has done, and contemplates the disposition of his eternal soul." Watch it here.

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Halestorm Frontwoman Lzzy Hale on Sex and Rock N Roll

(New Rock Times) Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale says sex and rock n' roll have always been a match made in heaven and she choose to express herself sexually in any way she sees fit.

She tells Metal Hammer, "Sex and rock'n'roll have gone hand-in-hand since the beginning of time, so I've never tried to downplay it. I've always just tried to stay true to myself. I'm not trying to shorten my skirt for attention, but at the same time, as a girl, I'm allowed to express myself sexually in whatever way I see fit."

Halestorm joined forces with rock legend Lita Ford for a tour last year which Lzzy says underlined her belief she made the right career choice as she paid tribute to one of her heroes.

"We decided we should do a tour and make it into this celebration of strong women," she said. "It was amazing touring with Lita. The Runaways were our foremothers of rock'n'roll, and they had to forge a path in the wilderness.

"I have to deal with meager sexism every now and then, or choose to ignore it, but those girls had it all the time." Read more here.

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George Thorogood and the Destroyers Announce Tour

(Radio.com) George Thorogood and the Destroyers have announced tour dates for 2017 with $1 from each ticket sold going to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

"The 'Rock Party Tour' promises to raise the bar, rock the house and tear off the roof like never before," said Thorogood in the announcement for the tour which kicks off on February 28th in Tucson.

"We play for a different audience every night, and that keeps it fresh. There are people who've never seen us before, and we have to impress them. There are fans that keep coming back, and we want to surprise them."

"This is my job," he added. 'I've always loved it, and I love it now more than ever." See the dates here.

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Bury Tomorrow Release The Burdon Video

Bury Tomorrow has released a new music video for their track "The Burdon". The song comes from their latest album "Earthbound", which was released last year.

The band premiered the video via their Facebook page with the following caption "This last year has been our biggest and most memorable yet! As a thank you to all our old fans and new, here's our video for 'The Burden' - enjoy!"

Frontman Dani Winter-Bates made the following comments at the time of the album's release, "To me, Earthbound feels like the distillation of everything we've ever wanted this band to be about.

"Our first three records are kind of part of their own trilogy but this is Bury Tomorrow's record, we all see this as our chance to show people what we are capable of." Watch the new video here.

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Memphis May Fire Lose A Member

Memphis May Fire have announced that they have parted ways with guitarist Anthony Sepe "after heavy consideration". Sepe joined the group in 2012.

The band had this to say, "We'd like to let you know that after heavy consideration, it's come time for Memphis May Fire and guitarist Anthony Sepe to part ways. Although change is never easy, it was determined to be best at this time and we have no doubt that Anthony will continue on in his creative endeavors.

"We'd like to thank him for everything he gave to this band and encourage you all to follow him on his various social accounts moving forward. We'll have further touring updates coming soon; but in the meantime, please everyone send Anthony your warmest regards. He'll always be family." See Sepe's comments here.

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Saxon Added As Headliner For Ramblin' Man Fair

NWOBHM legends Saxon have been added as one of the headliners for the newly expanded Ramblin' Man Fair music festival, according to Classic Rock.

The events will be taking place this July at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent and Saxon have been tapped to lead the lineup on Friday night which will also include performances from The Last In Line and the Graham Bonnet Band.

Frontman Biff Byford had this to say, "After a great time at the first Ramblin' Man Fair, we are very happy to be asked back to headline the inaugural Friday night this year. With all the hits and more coming your way, get out your denim and leather - it's going to be special."

Other announced acts include ZZ Top, Extreme, Dokken, Blues Pills, Kansas, Magnum, Focus, Joanne Shaw Taylor, the Quireboys and Rival Sons. Check out the lineup and find more details here.

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