Here’s a look at what’s going on in today’s rock news.
Friday, March 24th:
-This year’s Monsters of Rock Cruise just unveiled its 2023 lineup. The list includes Tesla, Queensryche, Extreme, Winger, Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy, Michael Schenker, and dozens more rock and heavy metal acts. The cruise will set sail April 29th from Port Canaveral, FL and return May 4th, with stops in Puerto Plata and Labadee. You can book a spot at MonstersOfRockCruise.com.
-The Who’s Pete Townshend is going solo for the first time in nearly three decades. On Friday, the guitarist released “Can’t Outrun the Truth”, a song written by his wife Rachel Fuller during the pandemic lockdown. Townshend shows off his versatility, playing guitar, violin, and lap steel on the track, along with lead vocals. Proceeds from single will go toward the Teenage Cancer Trust.
-A group of 100 drummers gathered to pay tribute to the late, great Taylor Hawkins on the one-year anniversary of his death. The group performed the Foo Fighters classic “My Hero” alongside Belgian rock band Black Box Revelation at Sportpaleis Antwerp. Black Box Revelation called Hawkins “the best drummer of our times” and the tribute “an experience we will never forget”. Hawkins died on March 25th, 2022 while Foo Fighters were on tour in Bogota, Colombia.
-Queen + Adam Lambert is bringing its ‘Rhapsody’ tour back to the U.S. this fall. The 14-date North American tour stops in Chicago at the United Center on October 30th. Guitarist Brian May says things will be bigger and better than ever this time around: “Our last tour featured our most ambitious production ever. So we decided to rip it apart and get even more ambitious. Watch out, world.” Tickets go on sale next Friday, March 31st.
-Video of John Mellencamp singing with his family is making the rounds. The singer brought three of his grandkids onstage with him at a recent show in Los Angeles. Two-year-old Dove, six-year-old Cruz, and nine-year-old Slate all helped the rocker perform his 1982 hit “Jack & Diane,” with Mellencamp telling the crowd, “I have a surprise, I have grandchildren who are dying to help me sing this song.”
-Linkin Park is sharing another unreleased track. The band dropped “Fighting Myself” this week. The tune will be on the “Meteora” 20th Anniversary Edition, arriving on April 7. The project will be available in several versions, including a Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set, Deluxe Vinyl Box Set, Deluxe 3-CD, and Digital Download.
-Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In honor of that, the book, “Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon: The Official 50th Anniversary Book” arrives today. The album-sized package features rare and unseen photography and reveals the visual conception of the original album artwork. The book also shares backstage and onstage photos of the band during the album tours from 1972 to 1975.
Thursday, March 23rd:
-Saliva guitarist Wayne Swinny has died due to a brain hemorrhage. Wednesday evening the band posted on Facebook, “Wayne passed away this afternoon from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage. Details for the funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. Wayne will be missed by all those who knew him.” Swinny was discovered Tuesday morning in medical distress and paramedics were called. Swinny and the band were on tour that played in Pittsburgh Monday night. Swinny was the only founding member left in the group from when it started in Bartlett, Tennessee in 1996. The group released 11 albums over 27 years and had released three tracks so far from a 12th as yet-untitled album, including their current hit “High on Me.” The band racked up nine Top 20 rock hits from 2001 to 2009 while Josey Scott was on board as their vocalist.
-Rush is sharing a new video for “Chemistry.” The track is from the forthcoming 40th anniversary reissues for their 1982 album, “Signals.” The project will be out on April 28, and will be available in three distinct configurations. There will also be a limited edition Super Deluxe box featuring eight lithographs of Neil Peart’s original hand-drawn lyrics for each song on “Signals.” The Super Deluxe box will only be available through the official Rush online store.
-Saturday (3/25) will mark a milestone for one of Linkin Park’s biggest albums. The band will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album “Meteora.” The album features the singles “Faint,” “Somewhere I Belong,” “Numb,” “Breaking the Habit,” and “From the Inside.” It went on to sell 16 million copies worldwide and sits as the 8th best-selling album of the 21st century. The band is releasing a 20th anniversary reissue of the record on April 7 and it includes the newly unearthed single “Lost,” featuring lead vocals by the late Chester Bennington. In a new interview, Mike Shinoda says with Meteora, the band felt a “confidence” and “security,” and found themselves “all having fun” and “pushing the envelope and learning and stretching.” Shinoda claims that’s what contributed to “why the album became what it did.”
-TThere’s another reason to get excited about the upcoming Black Sabbath ballet. Guitarist Tony Iommi is currently working on the music for the show. Iommi recently shared a photo with composer Chris Austin on Instagram, Iommi wrote in the caption, “Great day with Chris Austin working on music for the ballet in my new studio.” “Black Sabbath- The Ballet” will debut at the Birmingham Hippodrome in the U.K. in September.
Wednesday, March 22nd:
-Guitar goddess Nita Strauss has a new single – featuring a guest vocal from her boss, Alice Cooper. Cooper sings lead on “Winner Takes All”, which was released to digital platforms on Wednesday. Strauss says the track will appear on her upcoming album, and called it “an honor” to work with “my longtime boss and friend, the legendary Alice Cooper”. Strauss recently returned to Cooper’s live band after briefly leaving to tour with pop star Demi Lovato.
-It’s official – the second Mammoth WVH album will be out this summer. On Wednesday, Wolfgang Van Halen announced Mammoth II, due out August 4th. He also shared the first single, the hard-rocking “Another Celebration At The End Of The World”. Just like on the first Mammoth album, Wolfgang plays every instrument on the new record – something he jokes about in the video for “Another Celebration”.
-At the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honoring Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey expressed his willingness to star in a third installment of Wayne’s World. When asked if it was a possibility, Carvey quickly responded, “Yes, it is” and explained his admiration for his co-star Mike Myers. The original film earned $183 million, exceeding expectations, and the sequel earned $72 million. Other stars also expressed their enthusiasm for the potential third installment. Carvey explained the success of the films by saying the characters, who had very little, had more fun than anyone else in town.
Tuesday, March 21st:
-Everyone has to get their start somewhere, even rock stars. For Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, it was working as a security guard. “I remember working late-shift security and getting home, kind of torched at nine in the morning after traffic, and playing because I wanted to play something, but I was too brain-dead to do anything complicated,” Vedder once shared. Vedder mentioned that he would de-stress from the long work by taking camping trips with former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons.
-Before Fall Out Boy releases its new album, the band will give fans a preview of what to expect. Fall Out Boy has been announced to be musical guest on Thursday’s “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” The band is said to be performing the song “Hold Me Like a Grudge.” And, if you can’t stay up that night, no worries. Fall Out Boy’s new album “So Much (for) Stardust” is out the next day, March 24.
-Slash is sharing some of the guitarists he looked up to the most when he was younger. In a new interview, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist said he was inspired to pick up the Les Paul after seeing Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards playing the instrument. He went on to say, “I specifically remember hearing Whole Lotta Love from Led Zeppelin II when I was seven years old. And I attributed that sound – from what I felt was the coolest record I’d ever heard at that point in my life – to the Les Paul. Still, to this day, I’d say it’s one of the coolest records ever made. And I knew it was a Les Paul making those guitar tones because I saw pictures of Jimmy Page holding one – so that’s what made me associate the Les Paul with that kind of sound. Looking back now, I think that connection was pretty accurate!”
-The President will present the 2021 National Medal of Arts at the White House today (March 21). Bruce Springsteen, Gladys Knight, and Jose Feliciano will receive the National Medal of Arts from President Joe Biden at 4:30 p.m. The 2021 National Humanities Medals will be delivered in conjunction with the National Medal of Arts. “The National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy through their life long passionate commitment. We are a better nation because of their contributions. Their work helps us see the world in different ways,” said National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D.
Monday, March 20th:
-John Mellencamp has always been tied to his home state of Indiana – and now he’s making sure his legacy remains there. Mellencamp will be donating his archives to Indiana University – a collection that includes his creative work, photos, and other memorabilia. The university says the archive will be “an incredible resource for arts scholars and a clear source of inspiration to our students.” Mellencamp still lives in Bloomington, home of IU’s main campus. In fact, his current ‘Live and In Person’ tour kicked off last month with two shows at Indiana University Auditorium.
-The Offspring are teaming up with Sum 41 and A Simple Plan on a summer tour. The ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ tour kicks off August 1st with shows at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Chicago on August 26 and St. Louis on the 27th. The bands already joined forces on an international tour in 2022. Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 24th.
-Virginia Tech fans weren’t going to let the NCAA stop them from rocking out to “Enter Sandman”. The Metallica classic has long been used as the entrance music for the Hokies – but the NCAA banned the song from being played at Cassel Coliseum during March Madness, because the arena is technically considered a neutral site during the tournament. That didn’t stop the fans, however – video shows the fans singing ‘Enter Sandman’ acapella as the game tipped off on Friday. It seems to be working – the Hokies won Friday and Sunday to reach the Sweet 16.
-3 Doors Down and Candlebox are teaming up for an anniversary tour. 3 Doors Down will mark the 20th anniversary of of their breakout album Away From The Sun, performing the album in full along with a set of their biggest hits. Candlebox, meanwhile, will be celebrating 30 years as a band with a farewell tour and album. The tour kicks stops in Chicago at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on June 17th, tickets go on sale this Friday, March 24th.
-Gene Simmons is offering fans the chance to record with him in the studio. For $6000, fans can spend the day with Gene at Electric Lady studios in New York. In a video announcement, Simmons said, “I’m taking over Electric Lady Studios and I’m going to record a song. I want you to join me, doing lyrics, singing along with me on choruses. We’ll have food, a lot of fun, and I’ll give you stuff from my private collection that spans 50 years.” No musical experience is necessary, but attendees can bring along an instrument to play on the recording. Get more info at Genesimmonselectricladystudios.com.