Dickey Betts has fought his share of battles. His most recent was the unlikely result of a freak accident while playing with his dog int eh backyard of his Sarasota, FLorida home. The former Allman Brothers band guitarist fell and smacked his head hard enough on impact to cause bleeding on the brain. We're happy to pass along news that surgery Friday (9/21) to alleviate pressure was a success.
Dickey Betts fell while playing with his dog in the backyard of his Sarasota, Florida home Monday night (9/17). The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that the former Allman Brothers Band guitarist struck his head in a fall and was hospitalized for a brain bleed. His manager described his condition Wednesday as 'Stable but critical'. A surgical procedure to relieve pressure was expected to be performed Friday.
Dickey has been through plenty of trials and tribulations in his life and career. We hope he can rally and pull through this one. He's still one hulluva guitarist.
The Travelin' Man saying so long to the road. Bob Seger has announced that his upcoming tour with the Silver Bullet Band will be his last. A ruptured disc forced postponement of tour dates last year and the now 73 year-old veteran has made no secret of thinking his days of touring were dwindling. His Travelin' Man tour will open in Grand rapids on November 21 and is scheduled to wrap on May 2 of next year in Houston. See all of the tour dates here.
Today marks the anniversary of the passing of one of the true Titans. He radically redefined what could be done with an electric guitar and amplifier during his brief but remarkable career, and will forever awe and inspire up-and-coming guitarists. 11/27/1942 - 9/18/1970 RIP, Jimi Hendrix.
John Mellencamp will spend a good part of the late winter on the road. His US tour opens close to home with a concert at South Bend, Indiana's Morris Performing Arts Center on February 7th and continues with stops in 8 other states before the month is out. In March, his tour hit 7 more states. Fans buying tickets online for the tour dates will also receive a copy of Other People's Stuff, Mellencamp's new album getting released on November 16th. Tickets for his shows are available here.
Yes was out with its 5th album on this day in 1972. The complexities and delays involved in getting the 3 epic songs on the album recorded reportedly was why the release was titled Close To The Edge. In drummer Bill Bruford's case it proved to be. He quit the group right after the sessions concluded.album to join King Crimson.
A song David Bowie recorded in as a 16 year-old and in a band named the Konrads has been bought for $52,000 at an auction. The 1963 recording of the song I Never Dreamed was recently discovered by a band mate of Bowie, who was then performing under his given name David Jones.
September 12 was a big date for big albums. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here got released in the UK on this day in 1975, Ozzy unleashed Blizzard of Ozz in '80 and Aersomith cut loose one of it best late era releases in 1989. Also released on 9/12, David Bowie's Scary Monsters (1980) and Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie both announced they would leave Fleetwood Mac the the group's 1990 tour ended.
Conflicting release dates for Bruce and the E Street Band's second album abound. We stick with the one his own official site and his label contend it hit the street on.
With just 7 songs and 3 that were more than 7 minutes long, radio interest lagged outside of the markets the group's January '73's debut album had established a strong foothold and places where audiences had experienced Bruce and the band's intense and powerful live shows.
A number of musicians that recorded and toured with David Bowie are mounting an Alumni Tour doing Bowie material. Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Gerry Leonard, Carmine Rojas and Mark Plati make up the band. Lead vocals will be handled by Bernard Fowler and Living Colour front man Corey Glover.
Happy birthday to The Admiral, Anthony Joseph Perry, born on this day in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1950 and was one of the kids whose ambition in life changed the night the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show. It's a safe bet he was watching the show on the night of his his 16th birthday when the Rolling Stones appeared.
Paul McCartney's concert set in the Vanderbilt Room of Grand Central Station last night was limited to around 300 insiders, but drew thousands to the mid Manhattan transit hub and millions to YouTube to catch the live stream of it.
This week in 1974, Lynyrd Skynyrd was touring in support of the Nuthin' Fancy release. The band played the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut on September 7th, but made bigger local news for what happened outside the venue.
Ed King described what happened for the excellent Showtime documentary on the band titled If I Leave Here Tomorrow.
Fleetwood Mac's updated lineup took to national TV yesterday to open it's second post Lindsey Buckingham era. Here's how things looked and sounded with the addition of Mike Campbell from Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and former Split Enz and Crowded House member Neil Finn.
Freddie Mercury would have turned 72 on this day. Born Farrokh Bulsara on Zanzibar September 5, 1948, the future front man of Queen got his musical start on piano and was in his first band at the age of 12.
Fleeing political turmoil, his family relocated to Middlesex, UK , where he studied art and graphic design in school, Mercury also stayed active as a band member in a string of bands through his mid-late teen years. Queen formed in the spring of 1970 and Farrokh Bulsara adopted the name Freddie Mercury. The flamboyant lead singer of the band he described as the Cecil B. DeMille of Rock went on to establish himself as one of the greatest front men in history before the ravages of AIDS forced him to retire from performing.
Some fans are calling the Lindsey Buckingham-less band Fakewood Mac. Others are excited about the Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Crowded House vet Neil Finn joining. Whether you side with one, the other or are on the fence, Wednesday (9/5) is your chance to hear what the reconstituted Big Mac sounds like.
Hope ROCKinsights friends in the U.S. are enjoying the long weekend. Some going's on on some past September 3's...
Born on this date, Al Jardine of the Beach Boys born (1942), Grand Funk Railroad's Don Brewer (1948) Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. Fleetwood Mac released Future Games in 1971 and was also in the lineup of acts appearing at the Us Festival, which opened on this date in 1982 in San Bernadino, California.The Cars, Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, Jackson Browne, the Police, Santana and Eddie Money also appeared at the event, attended by around 400,000.
Muscle Shoals - Small Town, Big Sound is the title of an album that features Steven Tyler and Nuno Bettencourt, Kid Rock, Chris Stapleton, Grace Potter, Michael McDonald, Alison Krauss, Delbert McClinton, Jason Isbell and a host of other musicians that went to FAME Studios to recorded covers of songs from several of the biggest records cut in the rural Alabama studios. The album gets released September 28th.
U2's was only getting started before a sold-out concert crowd in Berlin last night when Bono found himself struggling to sing Beautiful Day and then called it a night. U2 has promised a make-good show for all ticket holders on November 13th..
According to a post on the U2 web site, the loss of voice was not caused by anything serious and a doctor expects him to regain it quickly and strongly enough that other dates on this leg of the tour should go on as scheduled.
Last spring, Steven Tyler and Nuno Bettencourt recorded a cover of Brown Sugar at FAME Studios near Muscle Shoals Alabama that reportedly featured some of the singers and musicians that played on the original when the Stones recorded it there.
Sympathy For The Devil, the 1968 Jean-Luc Goddard film documenting the writing and recording of the Rolling Stones classic on Beggar's Banquet that chronicled the political and social upheaval of the mid to late 1960s, is being re-released. The 4k restored film will get a few showcase screenings in late September before dropping on Blu-ray and DVD on October 5th.
Two weeks after the original Woodstock festival, some of the same bands performed at the Texas International Pop Festival near the newly opened Texas Motor Speedway outside of Dallas. Around 100,000 turned out in the Texas heat August 30 & 31 for a lineup that included Led Zeppelin, Santana, Janis Joplin, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, Sly and the Family Stone, Chicago Transit Authority, Grand Funk Railroad, Ten Years After, BB King, Freddie King, Delaney & Bonnie and Spirit.
Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin features 400 pages of material documenting the band's history compiled by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. The Big book comes for a list price close to $70, but can be pre-ordered for less with a bit of looking.
Neil Young and actress Daryl Hannah evidently tied the knot on a yacht near the San Juan Islands off the California coast over the weekend. People Magazine has reported there may also have been a small wedding ceremony on board Neil's own boat last month in Washington state.
According to the magazine, the gathering after the on-water ceremony off the California coast reportedly included around 100 guests, Stephen Stills and Joni Mitchell among them. Young hasn't officially confirmed the marriage, but the couple has been tight since Neil separated from his wife of 36 years in 2014.
Just minutes into August 27th of 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan boarded a helicopter with crew and tour members from Eric Clapton's band after a triumphant performance at Alpine Valley in East Troy Wisconsin. Vaughn hadn't expected to make the flight back to Chicago, but a seat was available and he took it.
Less than a mile from the takeoff point, the chopper crashed into a ski hill at the resort, claiming the lives of all onboard. The tragic crash happened not long after Vaughan had fought his way back from serious drugs and alcohol problems and was playing better than ever. Anyone lucky enough to have caught him in concert during his brief career knows it was a jaw dropping experience.
Whether or not the Kinks reunion and/or Ray and Dave Davies ever record together remain uncertain. The brothers confirmed plane to reunite in June, but previous attempts to stay on the same page about reforming a ban. But Ray did recently release another solo album. And Dave has one due on October 12. Dave Davies Decade mines material he wrote in the 1970's. Here's a preview.
Allman Brothers veteran guitarist Dickey Betts has suffered what's being described as a "mild stroke". A post on his web site relays assurances by doctors that he should make a full recovery in three to five weeks, but Betts and his solo band will have to cancel dates remaining on the current leg of his tour. The shows knocked off are at the New York State Fair in Syracuse on Tuesday (8/28), the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut 8/31, and the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. We join in wishing rapid recovery wishes to Dickey.
RIP early Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King who passed away in Nashville wEDNESDAY (8/22). King, who got a co-writing credit on Sweet Home Alabama, left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines, but rejoined the legendary group in 1987 and stuck with the it almost a decade until health issues forced him to retire. King was 68.
Holiday shopping for a friend that loves Eric Clapton just got easier. Slowhand will release a Christmas album on October 12. Happy XMas includes 14 songs of the season, including a new original titled For Love on Christmas Day. Eric also did the cover drawing.
RIP the Queen Of Soul. One of the great voices of our lifetimes fell silent today. Aretha Franklin has died at 76. The duaghter of a minister, Aretha was born ao March 25th of 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. The family moved briefly to Buffalo when she was just four, before relocating in Detroit, where her father took the pulpit at the New Bethel Baptist Church. Her parents separated when Aretha was just 7 and her mother died before she turned 10. Her father's booming voice and inspirational sermons drew musicians and other celebrities to his services, where they heard his daughter belt out hymns with a voice that was startlingly strong for so young a child. Before long, Sam Cooke and Berry Gordy were trying to convince her father to have Aretha record for a label. At 18 she was under contract with Columbia Records, releasing R&B, Pop and Easy Listening singles and albums. Her leap to international acclaim came with her move to Atlantic at the end of 1966. Early the following year, Franklin went to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and started recording the Rockin' Soul and R&B songs that rocketed her to the top of the charts.
Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington and Allen Collins we're together in bands a decade before the release of Pronounced "leh-nerd skinerd", the album that introduced them to the world on August 13th in 1973. Only Rossington remains, and Lynyrd Skynyrd will be no more after this tour ends. But the band that sold 30 million albums, and who knows how many Bic Lighters that fans held aloft during performances of the closing track on this album, became legendary.
Aerosmith said to be joining the ranks of Rocker's doing extended stints in Las Vegas. During a SiriusXM Beatles station interview, guitarist Joe Perry said his band is in the process of deciding how to best go about 'downsizing' the traditionally large scale production that Aerosmith tours have been since the group graduated from theaters to arenas and from arenas to stadiums.
We love the idea of bands returning to less colossal venues than people have had to see them in for decades. Now, if they could only roll back the ticket prices, too!
Today is the anniversary of Freddie Mercury's last concert fronting Queen. It took place in 1986 in front of 120,000 at Knebworth. His last show ever would be on April 14, 1988 at an AIDS awareness and fund raising concert with Cliff Richard. By then, the ravages of the disease were quite evident, but Mercury rose to the occasion and did what he did to deserve recognition as one of the most compelling lead vocalists in history.
Having a band member that can drive a tour bus is great, but Iron Maiden's got one with an off-stage skill that beats that by 37,000 feet; a member that can fly the tour jet.
In addition to his role as singer, musician and songwriter in one of Rock's preeminent Metal bands, Bruce Dickinson is a licensed commercial pilot with qualifications to fly the band's 747 jumbo jet. He also developed a pilot and aircraft servicing training company, a craft beer branding partnership with a brewery and hosted his own BBC Radio program.
Bruce was born on this day in 1958 in Nottinghamshire, UK.
The Beatles 5th album was released in the UK on this day in 1965. The US release followed a week later. The American album included instrumental music from the Help! movie, bumping two of the songs on the UK. Those appeared on Rubber Soul and Yesterday and Today.
The plan to have the band members spell out the title in semaphore on the UK cover was scrapped when the photographer realized that the semaphore arm positions for the corresponding letters looked a lot less like the letters than he expected they would. He then had the band improvise. The arm positions they choose come closest to the letters
Pat Benatar's second studio album dropped on this day in 1980. Crimes Of Passion went on to be her best selling album thanks to Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Treat Me Right, Hell Is For Children and her cover of the Rascal's You Better Run. The album also landed Pat a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance in 1981.
Bob Weir embarking on a trio tour doing Grateful Dead songs. Bob Weir and Wolf Bros includes Bob's long-time Ratdog drummer and original Primus member Jay Lane and producer/bass player Don Was, who has produced albums for the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt and many others.
On August 3 & 4 of 1968, Costa Mesa California hosted the best attended concert in U.S. history to that date. The Newport Pop Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds was billed as a 'first annual', but the next year's event got re-branded as Newport 69 but also changed locations, moving to Northridge.
The '68 concert's big draws were the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Steppenwolf, The Byrds and The Animals. Tickets were just $4.50 in advance and $5.50 at the gate.
Immortal, Ann Wilson's tribute album of songs from recently departed musicians she admired, gets released September 14. On it the Heart veteran covers songs from Tom Petty (Luna), The Eagles in honor of Glenn Frey (Life In The Fast Lane), Cream in honor of Jack Bruce (Politician), Gerry Rafferty (Baker Street) Chris Cornell (I Am The Highway), David Bowie (I'm Afraid of Americans), Amy WInehouse (Back to Black), Leonard Cohen (A Thousand Kisses Deep) and Lesley Gore (You Don't Own Me). Here is her take on Gore's song featuring Warren Haynes on guitar.
A 1979 EP, On Through The Night (1980) and High 'n' Dry (1981) established Def Leppard as one of the UK's premier Hard Rock bands, but 1983's Pyromania blew things wide open for the group and Hysteria, released on this day in 1987, became one of the best selling albums of any decade.
The release had a working title of Animal Instinct as work began on it. It would be the band's first album since drummer
Rick Allen lost an arm in the crash of his Corvette and the last album Steve Clark would play on.
Mutt Lange bailed on the project due to the exhausting schedule the highly sought after producer had been keeping. The band recruited Jim Steinman to fill the role but reportedly dropped him over dissatisfaction with his production approach on the one song they recorded with him. Ultimately, the album was produced by the band itself, resulting in the use of so much studio time that it became one of the most expensive albums ever recorded, but its sales erased that debt very rapidly.
Hysteria tracks got heavy airplay on Rock radio for the next 3 years and the album sold more than 25 million copies, almost 1/2 of the total number bought in the U.S.
Some bands that grow into success after several albums; Journey, Yes, ZZ Top, Def Leppard to name a few, but many break big right out of the gate, like The Doors, Bad Company, and Guns N' Roses. Instant success breeds great expectations and plenty of groups fall short on meeting them on subsequent releases.
Boston's self titled 1976 release was one of the most successful debut albums in history. Their second, released on this day in 1978 proved Tom Scholz's band would avoid a sophomore slump. By the end of August, Don't Look Back was closing in on having sold 5 million copies.
But after Don't Look Back, Boston fans were left with little to look forward to. 8 years would pass before the group's third album got released. Only Scholz and Brad Delp remained from the original lineup. The hit Amanda propelled sales of it to 4 million, but the album came nowhere close to replicating the depth of quality songs the first and second albums contained.
Steven Tyler booked studio time in Muscle Shoals, Alabama a few months ago. Not much has been revealed about the sessions the Aerosmith front man did, but Tyler mentioned in a Joe Rogan Experience podcast that one of the songs he recorded while at FAME Studios was Brown Sugar, the Stones classic from Sticky Fingers, the 1971 album that included tracks recorded in Muscle Shoals. AL.com reports that Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt was in on the Tyler sessions and says Steven included a number of musicians and singers on the original. Even if it doesn't measure up to it, we're happy to hear that Steven might be back to Rockin' after his foray into Country.
Foreigner, Journey, Yes and other heritage groups have replaced lead vocalists with soundalikes and managed to continue drawing well. One group's front man apparently decided his name and persona were so tightly associated with the group name in fan's minds that the other members were expendable. Ian Anderson seems to be doing okay touring as Jethro Tull without guitarist Martin Barre and other group mainstays.
Barre is busy developing his own career. His new solo album, Road Less Travelled, comes along September 1.
Phil Collins is releasing a 4 disc set in September that showcases the former Genesis member's solo sessions with a wide range of other musicians. Plays Well With Others will include Collins working with everyone from Brain Eno to Tony Bennett. On the Rock side, highlights will be performances with Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and David Crosby. The collection drops September 28.
Gary Lee Weinrib was born on this day in 1953 in Toronto to parents that survived imprisonment in two of the most horrific Nazi concentration camps. Geddy's father was able to find his mother post liberation after the pair had been sent to separate camps late during WW2. The name Geddy was adopted by the future Rush bass player and singer because his childhood friends picked up on his mother's pronunciation of his given first name at birth sounded more like Geddy than Gary.
In a move that will thrill fans and fuel haters, a U2 visitor center is slated for construction on Dublin's Grand Canal Dock. The more than 10,000 square foot, four floor structure will house the bands's original studio and exhibit space featuring instruments and memorabilia related to the group. The project plan calls for it to be a "world class tourist attraction featuring permanent, yet constantly evolving, exhibition of the U2 story on the site they recorded six albums."
On July 27& 28, 1973 an estimated 600,000 descended on the Finger Lakes village of Watkins Glen in upstate New York for Summer Jam, a concert featuring the Allman Brothers band the Grateful Dead and The Band. Staged near the fabled Watkins Glen race track, the concert was scheduled for the 28th but hordes of early arrivals got to hear the Dead and the Allman Brothers do extended soundchecks the day before. The Band's set during the actual concert was interrupted by a potent thunder storm. A defiant Garth Brooks remained on stage of it to accompany the storm with dramatic organ flourishes until a tremendous crash of thunder sent him scrambling for cover, too.
US military families have a great supporter in the Rock ranks. James Gang and Eagles veteran Joe Walsh donated proceeds from a number of his concerts to local Veteran support groups in communities he's played. A couple of years ago, he decided to stage an annual benefit concert. He's had no problem enlisting great performers and friends to join him. This year's VetsAid show takes place in the Tacoma Domed in Washington on November 11 and features Walsh, James Taylor, Chis Stapleton and Don Henley. Tickets go on sale 7/27 through Ticketmaster and the Tacoma Dome box office. TY, Joe!
Bon Scott was considered so beyond replaceable in the hearts and minds of AC/DC fans that it's hard to imagine more daunting shoes to fill than Brian Johnson set out to with the release of this album on this day in 1980. Bon's legendary status is eternally assured, but Brian certainly deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the role he played in keeping AC/DC one of the biggest Classic Rock bands in history.
Between the time Yes finished recording its second album and its July 24th release, the group replaced guitarist Peter Banks with Steve Howe. Banks was bounced, in part, for arguing against using strings and brass backing on songs - a contention many fans and critics shared. We can only speculate how different the album might have been had Howe been involved from the start.
Saul Hudson's parents weren't musicians, but their careers related to it. The eventual Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist's mother was a costume designer whose client list included David Bowie. His father an artist, whose work included album covers for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Slash was born in Hempstead, London on Jyly 23, 1965.
A record company 16 year-old David Jones submitted it to considered it worthless, but the demo the future David Bowie recorded in 1963 while in a band called The Konrads is expected to sell for close to $20k. The Independent reports that the drummer/manager of the group came across it while packing things up for a move almost 30 years ago.
The Eagles spent fewer years as a band than disbanded, but the body of work they produced from 1971-1980 and the tours they have staged since getting back together since the first of a couple of reunions in 1994 have kept the one of America's most prominent bands. In addition to QBing the Eagles, Don Henley has 5 solo albums to his credit. The drummer/guitarist/vocalist/producer was born on this day in 1947 in Gilmor, Texas.
Many don't realize that when Santana delivered one of the most riveting sets at the original Woodstock festival the group's debut album hadn't even been released yet. The fusion of Rock and firey Latin American rhythms and the searing guitar work of the man born on this day in Mexico has continued to enthrall audiences to this day. Happy brithday, Carlos Santana!
Springsteen on Broadway, Bruce's one-man show on Broadway, will wrap-up after three extensions and close to 300 performances. Ticket demand and prices remain high. If the availability or cost of going to the live show proved too daunting, you'll still be able to catch it. Netflix has reached a deal to televise a recording of a performance on December 15th.
If you're a big Queen fan you might have a fighting chance going one-on-one with Brian May on trivia involving his band, but he might then up the stakes and shift the subject to Astrophysics and Astronomy. The Queen guitarist's Rock credentials are matched with some major qualifications in those fields. Happy birthday to him today.
The Doors 4th studio album was eight months in the making, due in good part to the fact Jim Morrison was not writing songs during the group's long tour leading into the studio sessions. He contibuted less to this album than he had to any of the previous studio recordings. The addition of orchestral backing and more jazz influenced styling from Ray Manzarek than on the first three albums earned little praise from fans and critics that had come to expect straight-up Rock from Morrison and company.
The Circle has been playing together a few years and released a live DVD, but Sammy Hagar's group has yet to put out an album. That changes soon when the group that includes Jason Bonham, Michael Anthony and Vic Johnson in addition to the Red Rocker turns loose a debut album that Bonham described while talking with Sonic Perspectives as an release that is intended to be listened to as albums used to be... from start to finish.
Most bands morph into existence, picking-up members over a period of weeks or months. One of Rock's original power trio's was formed in a single day, July 16, 1966.
His time as a member of the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers made Eric Clapton the best known of the three, but it was Ginger Baker that brought the members of Cream together. Baker had been the drummer in the Graham Bond Organisation, a band that also included Jack Bruce. When Ginger proposed forming a new band with Clapton, Eric agreed to it, provided that Bruce, who had been a member of the Bluesbreakers during EC's stint with Mayall, be included. Since Bruce and Baker had frequently feuded during their time together in the Bond band, Baker was reluctant to go along with it but did because Clapton insisted. Baker and Bruce continued to knock heads during the few years and four albums Cream was together.
In 1969, weary of the ongoing battles between Baker and Bruce, Clapton and Baker joined former Spencer Davis Group and Traffic member Steve Winwood in forming Blind Faith, opting to invite Ric Gretch from the band Family to play bass.
Talking Heads second album dropped on this date in 1978. David Byrne brought Brian Eno in to produce it. The biggest song on it was the group's unlikely choice of Take Me To The River, a song written four years earlier by soul singer Al Green and his guitarist that Green never released as a single.
Smashing Pumpkins have been known to throw a curve ball from time to time, but one they played during the 30+ song set opening their reunion tour in Glendale, Arizona Thursday night must have really surprised their audience.
The USPS will issue a John Lennon stamp in September. The 'forever' stamp includes John's signature on a photo shot for his 1974 Walls and Bridges album. The stamp pane is designed to resemble a 45rpm singles sleeve and has a photo of John taken in 1971 at his white piano for the Imagine album. The official release of the stamp will be at a ceremony at the Namburg Bandshell in New York City's Central Park at 11am on September 7th.