From the New York Times:
Don Cornelius, the smooth-voiced television host who brought black music and culture into America’s living rooms when he created the dance show “Soul Train,” was found dead at his home in Los Angeles early Wednesday in what appeared to be a suicide, the authorities said. He was 75.
Police officers responding to a report of a shooting found Mr. Cornelius’s body at 4 a.m. on the floor of his house on Mulholland Drive with a gunshot wound to the head. It appeared to have been self-inflicted, said Ed Winter, the Los Angeles County assistant chief coroner.
“Soul Train,” one of the longest-running syndicated shows in television history, played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world, offering wide exposure to musicians like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson in the 1970s and ’80s.
“ ‘Soul Train’ created an outlet for black artists that never would have been if it hadn’t been for Cornelius,” said Kenny Gamble, who with his partner, Leon Huff, created the Philly soul sound and wrote the theme song for the show. “It was a tremendous export from America to the world, that showed African-American life and the joy of music and dance, and it brought people together.”
Mr. Cornelius, a former disc jockey, created “Soul Train” in 1970 for the Chicago television station WCIU and served as its writer, producer and host. When it became a local sensation, he moved the show to Los Angeles and began broadcasting nationally in 1971, beginning a 35-year run in syndication.
In its heyday, it was a formative experience every Saturday morning for young people of all backgrounds and afforded some of the most important soul and R&B acts their first national television exposure. It was also a platform for white rock musicians like Elton John and David Bowie to reach black audiences.
Beyond music, “Soul Train” showcased dances and clothing styles then popular among young blacks. It laid the groundwork for dance programs like Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.”
You can read more about Don Cornelius‘ life here.
As a white kid growing up in the 70′s Saturday morning consisted of cartoons and huge bowls of cereal while my mom slept in. Around 11 am or noon the cartoons would end and I’d always end up watching American Bandstand, followed by Soul Train. I always dug Soul Train more even if I didn’t know who the artists were that were performing on it. It seemed, more real, more ‘live‘ than Bandstand. And who can forget the Soul Train Dance Line? It was your chance to see some of the freakiest styles and dances you’d ever laid eyes on. It was fascinating to me to watch the talent that was not only the bands that came on, but the people that danced on the show.
R.I.P. Don Cornelius. And thank you for 35 years of Peace, Love, and Soul.
Editorial: Live Nation asks to send class action complaint to Maryland but not drop action completely
Live Nation moved to send a class action complaint alleging illegal service charges, kickbacks and RICO violations to Maryland federal court, saying it is the proper venue to hear the case.
The original suit, filed by plaintiff Andre Bourgeois in Baltimore, claims a city ordinance limits ticket service charges to 50 cents. He also claims LN violated Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization laws by conspiring with Lyric Productions, which operates the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, and paying it a “kickback.”
The suit was originally filed in June. Live Nation moved for dismissal in October and Bourgeois voluntarily asked that it be dismissed the next month. He then refiled the case to include Lyric.
“The defendants have completely ignored the restrictions of the law and have criminally overcharged and conspired to overcharge their customers,” the suit said. “They have reaped huge financial windfalls from operating outside of the rules which apply to them.”
Live Nation responded in court filings that the ordinance does not apply to its sale of tickets. “The universal understanding of ‘ticket scalping’ encompasses only the reselling of tickets (and not an original sale as alleged here),” the company said in a filing.
Bourgeois alleges he bought a ticket to see Jackson Browne at Lyric Opera House in 2009 and had a service charge exceeding $12 on top of the $52 face value. He bought his ducat through Ticketmaster, but Live Nation is a defendant because of the merger of the two.
The lawsuit claims Baltimore City Code prohibits the sale of tickets, at face value or above, by anyone not licensed as a “ticket agency” by the Baltimore City Director of Finance. Neither Live Nation nor fellow defendant Monumental Ticketing – previously known as Ticketmaster Group Limited Partnership – are licensed as ticketing agencies in Baltimore, according to the suit. And, if they were, the city code allows them to have a maximum service charge of 50 cents per ticket.
The suit specifically alleges violations of the RICO Act, the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, negligent misrepresentation and other state law claims. It seeks to represent a class of everyone who bought tickets to an event in Baltimore through Live Nation over the last four years.
So a customer of Ticketmaster is suing them claiming their ‘fees‘ are too high. He dropped the first suit to reword it and to add a defendant in it.
Broken down, what the suit claims is that to sell tickets in Baltimore you have to be a ticket agent. The suit claims that Ticketmaster and therefore Live Nation are not ticket agents listed in Baltimore. And if perchance they ARE verified to be ticket agents in Baltimore then the law in Baltimore states they can only charge $.50 per ticket for service fees.
Live Nation (who owns Ticketmaster) asked to have the action moved to Maryland, but did NOT ask to have it dismissed this time. I find this very interesting. Do they realize they are over a barrel here or did they move the venue for the action to give them ‘friendlier‘ judges?
First on Saturday December 10th we read this update by Jack Russell (original Great White vocalist):
“To all my friends:
Just wanted to announce that I will be coming back with my band, GREAT WHITE, and a BRAND NEW lineup.
“My new bandmates are some of the most incredible musicians I have ever had the privilege to play with: Matthew Johnson, former guitarist for GREAT WHITE; Derrick Pontier, former drummer for GREAT WHITE; Dario Seixas, former bassist for FIREHOUSE and the Stephen Pearcy band; and Robby Lochner, former guitarist for Rob Halford‘s band and Cherie Currie.
“I am very excited about this new beginning.
“I am feeling better than ever, despite any rumors you may hear to the contrary.
“Unfortunately, and as confusing as it will be, my former bandmates and their manager have decided to continue to tour next year under the name I created, GREAT WHITE. I will be touring under the name GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL to try avoid any confusion.
“So now the true fans will know the difference.
“I will be announcing tour dates as soon as they become available.
“Our first performance will be at the pre-NAMM Jam on January 14, 2012. Only shows advertised as GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL will include myself on vocals.
“I have missed all of you terribly and look forward to seeing you all on the road. You have no idea how much your love and devotion has meant to me during what has been one of the hardest periods of my life.
“Happy holidays! Much peace and love to you and your families. Have a blessed New Year.
“Yours, as always, Jack Russell, founder and lead vocalist, GREAT WHITE
“P.S.: JACK IS BACK!!!!!!!!”
Ok, so Jack Russell has undergone several surgeries over the last couple of years, and according to the actual GREAT WHITE band, it is all because of rampant drug use. The ‘original‘ GREAT WHITE released this statement yesterday in response to Jack‘s announcement on Saturday:
“First and foremost, our main concern is our fans.
“We have spent 30 years trying to be the best we can be and bring our fans the top quality of music they have become accustomed to and deserve.
“It saddens us today to have to respond to Jack Russell‘s announcement.
“Jack Russell announced on Facebook on Saturday, December 10, 2011 that he was returning to GREAT WHITE with a new lineup. This was a complete shock to the entire GREAT WHITE family.
“This couldn’t be further from the truth.
“As we all know, Jack Russell has been fighting drug and alcohol abuse for many years. He has had numerous stints in and out of treatment facilities and hospitals.
“In 2010 Jack‘s physical condition deteriorated to the point that he routinely fell on and off stage, forgot lyrics and we had to cancel shows due to his inability to perform.
“In the past two years, Jack has had five major surgeries and has almost died three times. His drug abuse was so bad that his body began to shut down and ultimately resulted in colostomy surgery from a perforated bowel (he nearly died during this procedure). The colostomy surgery saved his life, but vanquished him with a colostomy bag for a year.
“We stood by Jack; we supported his sobriety and eagerly awaited his return.
“Jack was first slated to return to GREAT WHITE this past summer. Unfortunately, his frail body and his drug abuse prohibited this event. In the following months, Jack had three more surgeries that delayed his return. Finally, he chose February 2012 as his target return date.
“We had five clear conditions for Jack‘s return:
1. Jack had to be drug free. Off all opiates, methadone, Valium or Xanax.
2. Jack had to be off prednisone (a steroid that ate away at Jack‘s internal organs that caused the perforated bowl).
3. Jack had to be sober and off crack cocaine and all alcohol.
4. Jack had to agree to weekly drug tests.
5. Jack must attend weekly meetings for AA and NA.
“Last week Jack notified management he would not make it back by February 2012. Jack referred to his doctor’s opinion that he would not be ready. He had just started physical rehabilitation again and his legs and back needed more rehab to handle the rigors of touring. Jack thought he would be ready by May to start the summer touring season. However, he wasn’t sure if he could be off the methadone by then or ever. Management reiterated that he had to be completely drug-free for his return. He owed it to the fans. He owed it to us. He owed it to himself.
“Out of nowhere, we all received an email on Saturday, December 10, 2011 stating that he was coming back now and that he was starting his own (a different lineup) GREAT WHITE. As you can imagine, this was shocking, to say the least. We were saddened and hurt from this shocking announcement.
“We only want to do right by our fans.
“We aim to give the best possible show and have every fan leave the show feeling they got their money’s worth.
“This band is sober and music is our passion. With Jack Russell not being drug-free and unable to physically perform on stage, it will only let down our fans.
“Time and again, Jack Russell has let down his band and fans. His addictions have ruined his life the past eight years.
“We will not sit by and enable our brother to abuse alcohol and drugs to kill himself. We have lost too many loved ones to this madness. After the passing of our dear friend, the talented Jani Lane, it has become more evident that this has to stop. It must end.
“Since Jack‘s departure in August 2010, GREAT WHITE has performed almost 100 concerts. We’ve had no shortened sets, cancelations or song choice limitations due to vocal issues.
“In this struggling economy, fans need and deserve more — not less. We owe it to our fans and the promoters to not to allow Jack Russell and some garage band to hurt GREAT WHITE‘s classic rock legacy and bright future.
“Jack Russell does not have the right to start his own GREAT WHITE or use the name without our names in the lineup.
“We will litigate any promoter that books ‘Jack Russell’s GREAT WHITE‘ or uses any logo featuring the name GREAT WHITE.
“We give you our word, we will continue through 2012 and beyond to provide you with the top-quality musical performances you have been accustomed and deserve.
“We hope and pray that Jack gets healthy, happy and sober. His health and well being is the only thing that matters.”
GREAT WHITE featuring Terry Ilous
The ‘original’ GREAT WHITE currently consists of: Mark Kendall (lead guitar), Scott Snyder (bass), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards) and Terry Ilous (lead vocals).
Ok, so we have two L.A. Guns which nobody wants. We want one L.A. Guns with Phil Lewis singing. Who cares who the guitarist is? Tracii Guns was never Yngwie, Eddy, or Jimi so who cares if he is in the band or not? We don’t need two different bands playing the same music under the same name. Get that Jack Russell? We don’t need two GREAT WHITE bands! We need one (well, do we really even need one???) band playing the hits we’ve loved for the last 20 years. And if you can’t get your shit straight and get healthy enough to join the actual band that is touring under the GREAT WHITE name, then you don’t need to be touring under another GREAT WHITE band name.
There’s some stupid shit that goes on in the music industry, but this has got to be the dumbest.
In a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being asked to refund $1.50 for each ticket order — up to 17 orders — to customers because Ticketmaster profited off the dubious “processing fees,” Business Insider reports.
This won’t stop the website from profiting off the ticket orders; all Ticketmaster has to do is indicate on its website that they are doing so.
The original claim, filed Oct. 21, 2003, also says UPS‘ price for expedited delivery of tickets is not truthful. Customers who fall under the UPS part of the lawsuit will also receive a $5.00 credit for each ticket.
Read more here.
So Ticketmaster (owned currently by LIVE NATION) deceived customers about their insanely high ‘processing fees‘. Does this shock anyone? Why are we paying 25% of the face value of a ticket for ‘fees‘ today? I’ve broken this down before for you…
There are three fees in a ticket.
#1. The face value of the ticket.
#2. Venue Fee.
#3. Service Charge (ticketing fee/processing fee/whatever they claim it is on any given day).
So how this works is like this…
The Promoter (LIVE NATION) figures out the ticket price based on the guarantee paid to the artist to perform. So if your arena holds 20,000 people you knock that figure in half (Because you never bet on a sold out show), so you take the guarantee and divide it by 50% of the house seats. Add in ‘productions costs‘ (crews to build/tear down stage, etc, rider costs for artists, etc (the actual cost of putting on the show) and there you have the cost of the ticket.
So if the artist sells more than 50% of the tickets EVERYONE is making money, the house (on food and beverage and their cut of the merchandise), the promoter, and the artist because they get points after production costs (meaning after show pays for itself artist and promoter split the rest of the profits).
So let’s get back to the ticket itself. You pay $50 to see a band. Then you pay $7.00 for a ‘venue fee‘ (this is where the venue makes money JUST BECAUSE you buy a ticket. It is simply one more way for the venue to take money from you for no reason!). You then pay $12.00 for Ticket Service Fees (to print a ticket and mail it to you or have you print it out yourself). You actually have to pay Ticketmaster to print the ticket out at your house YOURSELF. So they make money by not having anyone print out the ticket on ticket stock and put it in an envelope and mail it to you!
Still with me here? Good, cuz this is just gets better…
Let’s take the House Of Blues establishment. I want to see Queensryche there, so I go online and buy a ticket for $35 to see them. I pay a $4 ‘Venue Fee‘ and a $9 ‘Service Fee‘.
Oh, did I mention HoB is owned by LIVE NATION?
I did mention Ticketmaster is owned by LIVE NATION.
So what does this mean? It means LIVE NATION is taking $35 to help cover the cost of the show and the artist. Then LIVE NATION is taking another $4 because they own the venue ‘just because‘. And on top of that they are taking $9 to ‘process my tickets‘. Do you smell the monopolistic bullshit here?
Ever wonder why Pearl Jam at the height of their popularity went up against Ticketmaster? Ever wonder why they stopped? Did they win or lose? Depends on who you ask, but that’s for another editorial…
The Class action settlement comes right on the heals of LIVE NATION‘s 3rd Quarter report.
For the quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2011 Live Nation earned $51.7 million.
Now let’s not get confused here kids, that is their EARNINGS, that is what they hold after ALL their bills are paid. Because here is what they took in:
Revenue fell nearly 3 percent to $1.79 billion, missing the average estimate for $1.90 billion from analysts polled by FactSet.
That’s right, Live Nation and their subsidiaries House Of Blues, Ticketmaster, and other’s you’ve probably never heard of raked in $1.79 Billion in ONE QUARTER.
That’s a lot of tamales people. And they pocketed $51.7 million. Which seems kind of small in comparison, but LIVE NATION is in the practice of over paying the artists so that they use LIVE NATION (or LIVE NATION uses them to be more acurate) for their tours. That way LIVE NATION keeps themselves at the front of the pack because they have more artists than anyone else.
It doesn’t matter that the economy is in the crapper, everyone is losing their houses and jobs, LIVE NATION still over pays they artists to make sure they have the biggest piece of the pie. And who ultimately pays that cost overage? You and I do when we buy our grossly inflated ticket prices and surcharges.
Other promoters worldwide have gone to the artists and said look, take less up front, put more asses in the seats, and make more off the back end, everyone wins then. And they are right, we pay LESS for tickets, we go to MORE shows, MORE people go to shows in general, and everyone makes more money by lowering the cost of the tickets.
LIVE NATION. The $6 Billion Gorilla in the room.
Back in august I posted a ‘What the Metal Fuck?!?!‘ about Judas Priest‘s frontman Rob Halford firing his manager right after said manager, John Baxter, posted some cryptic musings on some of Rob‘s websites. You can read the first story right here.
Then yesterday we saw this:
Rob Halford‘s longtime manager John Baxter has filed a lawsuit against Halford and other members of the band and its management team, alleging fraud, breach of contract and intentional interference with contractual relations – and asking for around $50 million in damages.
Baxter, who had been Halford‘s personal manager since 1982 until he was fired in August, claims he discovered in August that frontman Rob Halford owes him millions of dollars for contract breaches, including failure to pay commissions, salary and expenses dating back to 1992. He alleges that Halford actively misled him by saying that he was simply unable to fulfill his financial obligations to his manager, promising that he would pay Baxter when he was able.
On August 9th, Baxter was fired from his job as manager via a letter from a British law firm that reads, in part: “It has become clear over recent weeks that the relationships between our parties has run its course and that you are not acting in our clients’ best interests.” The letter also claims that Baxter, who lives in Arizona, withdrew his sponsorship of Halford‘s U.S. visa in order to prevent his entry into the country and that he posted cruel comments on Halford‘s official website, actions that “placed an intolerable strain upon our clients’ ability to maintain constructive and professional relations with the remaining members of Judas Priest and their representatives at this crucial time.”
Defendant Andrew Thompson, a British lawyer whose firm sent Baxter the termination letter, tells Rolling Stone via email that he never interfered, intentionally or otherwise, with the Halford and Baxter relationship. In the suit, Baxter claims that Thompson and the suit’s other defendants (who include Judas Priest manager Bill Curbishley and Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill) intentionally tried to interfere with the Baxter/Halford contractual relationship because they wanted to be Halford‘s global managers and to influence Halford‘s relationship with Judas Priest, his participation in the Judas Priest farewell tour and Halford‘s post-Judas Priest career.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/rob-halfords-longtime-manager-suing-him-for-breach-of-contract-20111102#ixzz1ceWedPox
You can read the whole article right here.
Not one to say I told you so.. but… Ok, I am totally the one to say it, and I will say it here, I told you so. The last paragraph says it all. And it is exactly what I thought was happening back in August when Baxter posted all over Halford‘s websites. Curbishley and Co want Halford to themselves, and that is the stance Baxter is taking on this. I’m not saying he is right, and I’m not saying his lawsuit is valid, but it is all so very entertaining…
Can’t wait to see what Miss Jayne Andrews says about this as she was named as a defendant too!
You can follow along at JudasPriest.com yourself.
On Wednesday, August 24th, 2011, agents for the U.S. government executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The raids forced Gibson to cease manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day while armed agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service executed the search warrants for ebony and rosewood that was imported from India.
The federal officials claim that Gibson violated the Lacey Act, which stipulates that a company cannot import wood in a manner that’s against the laws of the country the wood is coming from. However, Gibson has complied with Indian law and no concerns have been raised by the Indian government.
“Agents seized wood that was Forest Stewardship Council controlled,” Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said. “Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC-certified supplies. The wood seized on August 24 satisfied FSC standards.”
Juszkiewicz believes that the Justice Department is bullying Gibson without filing charges. This is the second time Gibson has been raided by the federal government (the first was in 2009), yet no charges have been filed and the materials confiscated on both occasions remain in federal hands.
But Juszkiewicz says the government won’t tell him exactly how — or if — his company has violated that law.
“We’re in this really incredible situation. We have been implicated in wrongdoing and we haven’t been charged with anything,” he says. “Our business has been injured to millions of dollars. And we don’t even have a court we can go to and say, ‘Look, here’s our position.‘”
The U.S. Justice Department won’t comment about the case it’s preparing, but a court motion filed in June asserts Gibson‘s Madagascar ebony was contraband. It quotes emails that seem to show Gibson taking steps to maintain a supply chain that’s been connected to illegal timber harvests.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The law ensnaring Gibson is the Lacey Act of 1900, originally passed to regulate trade in bird feathers used for hats and amended in 2008 to cover wood and other plant products. It requires companies to make detailed disclosures about wood imports and bars the purchase of goods exported in violation of a foreign country’s laws.
Leonard Krause, a consultant in Eugene, Ore., who advises companies on complying with the Lacey Act, is telling clients they should hire lawyers in countries where they obtain products. “How many people know the statutes in India?” Mr. Krause said. “The net effect is that it raises everybody’s cost of doing business.”
Federal agents first raided Gibson factories in November 2009 and were back again Aug. 24, seizing guitars, wood and electronic records. Gene Nix, a wood product engineer at Gibson, was questioned by agents after the first raid and told he could face five years in jail.
“Can you imagine a federal agent saying, ‘You’re going to jail for five years’ and what you do is sort wood in the factory?” said Mr. Juszkiewicz, recounting the incident. “I think that’s way over the top.” Gibson employees, he said, are being “treated like drug criminals.”
Mr. Nix hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing. He couldn’t be reached for comment.
What’s most puzzling about this case is that India is perfectly happy to ship the fingerboard ‘blanks’ to the United States. In a letter dated July 13, the deputy director general of foreign trade for India confirmed that “fingerboards made of rosewood and ebony is (sic) freely exportable.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife offered no comment about the discrepancy. But people involved in the import and export of musical instruments and parts believe the US Department of Justice offered its own interpretation of Indian law. Even though India saw no reason for an enforcement action, the U.S. did.
There was a discrepancy in the import of this latest shipment of wood. It was listed with an improper tariff code, which the importer, Luthiers Mercantile International of Windsor, Calif., claimed was a clerical error by a junior employee and tried to clear up. But rather than talk to the importer and Gibson about it, the Justice Department dispatched U.S. Fish and Wildlife and DHS agents to raid the Gibson compounds.
Gibson feels it has been unfairly targeted. “We are being singled out. Very much so. Every music instrument company in the United States uses rosewood fingerboards. Period. And they’re in the same state – they’re buying from the same suppliers, they’re using the same shippers.”
And more from Foxnews.com:
Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., on Thursday (today) plan to introduce a proposal to amend the so-called Lacey Act. The expansive law makes it illegal to buy, sell or travel with certain wood products, and requires owners to carry specific documentation for others. The lawmakers say this threatens musicians, antique dealers and others who travel with products containing rare plant or wood materials.
The amendments would “grandfather” all instruments and furniture made before May 22, 2008, when the law was last updated to cover exotic woods, so owners of those products would not face prosecution.
The amendment would also try to clarify portions of the act that require compliance with foreign laws, calling on the government to put together a database of all relevant laws. Plus the amendment would reduce the paperwork necessary to import and export musical instruments and furniture manufactured before that 2008 date.
Ok, so we’ve all read about what the Government is doing to Gibson, and how they are being mistreated and targeted. But where in all of this (and please go to the links and read all of the stories plus the hundreds of other articles about the same thing I didn’t link to) did anyone see WHY Gibson was being targeted? Sure Fox News said that it is because the Gibson CEO was a Republican. And the reason Martin and other US companies hadn’t been was because they were Democrats. I call bullshit. We have 2.5 wars currently ongoing (.5 being Libya), an economic crisis that is beginning to look like the Great Depression of 1929 was a minor blip in economic hardship, a President who is still working on his Healthcare package, and job stimulus package while removing troops from Iraq ASAP. You think he has time to target a Republican owned company that just makes guitars? And let’s not forget FOX News is a Republican lap dog.
Or, could it simply be that Gibson has actually made a mistake, honest or otherwise, and are actually guilty of using wood ‘illegally‘ gained? Sure they are crying ‘foul‘ so they don’t look guilty, but really, at the end of the day, do YOU care that they used rosewood illegally harvested in India or some other country for their inlays? No. And neither do I.
Yes it looks a little funny that they haven’t been charged after the raid in 2009, and have been raided again and STILL not charged, but have you heard about the West Memphis Three???? Stranger more fucked up things have sadly happened in our judicial system.
If Gibson is guilty, shame on them. Ok, again I don’t care if they are guilty. Who cares where the wood came from? Besides tree huggers and our Government that is.
If the government IS targeting them for some reason, WTF are they thinking? Why would you target a company that builds all of it’s top of the line GIBSON guitars IN the USA? Sure their lesser brands are made overseas, but their actual GIBSON lines are made here in the US. So Wal-Mart can import every conceivable piece of shit manufactured in China and screw the US employees out of benefits left and right, and they are ‘Government Target Exempt‘. But Gibson is being targeted for INLAYS for its guitars?
Of course this will (or won’t so far) play out in the courts for some time to come. It will be interesting to see the fallout and how this shakes out for Gibson.
What can you do? Well, if you don’t care where Gibson gets it’s wood, or if you think they are squeaky clean and should have been raided, you can go here and sign this petition from Change.org. You can also post a link to this editorial everywhere.
Now go buy a Gibson guitar, support MADE IN USA, and create some mad riffs so I have something to write about next week.
Word on the street (ok, word on the internet) is that Jonathon Davis and his merry band of feel good warm and fuzzy song writers (called KORN) are currently working with several Dubstep producers on their new album.
Originally it was to be an EP, but the band took to the vile new dance style of music and are reportedly doing an entire album worth of this vomitous dreg with Skrillex, Kill The Noise, Excision, and 12th Planet.
KORN has already debuted a track from the upcoming album on SPIN.com called Get Up.
I’ve included the link, but, really, you’ve been warned.
If that wasn’t bad enough, someone took dog shit and tried to make nastier dog shit out of it! Jonathon Davis posted a remix of Get Up by AutoErotique on SoundCloud. I’m attaching it here so you can… well… torture yourself if you must.
Korn Feat Skrillex – Get Up (Autoerotique Mix) by kornofficial
Supposedly the new KORN album will be out on November 15th, but neither Korn nor their label RoadRunner Records has confirmed it.
If THAT wasn’t bad enough Halestorm has just unleashed a remix of a cover they did of Heart‘s All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You. Lzzy Hale just posted on twitter and their website that this Dubstep cover was not the band’s idea, but that SIX5 (whomever that is) did it on their own and submitted it to their label. You can read more about that right here.
I am attaching the SIX5/Lzzy Hale song here. Again, you’ve been warned.
Why am I telling you all this?
We must stop this right here. And now. The rap/metal thing has finally run it’s course, unfortunately nobody has told Fred Durst. And we do not need Metal/Dance/Dubstep/WTFever to begin.
Kill this illegitimate form of music now before it spreads like the incurable Bieber Fever epidemic of 2010.
For all that is Metal… Kill it now.
You’ve been warned… You’ll thank me later.
FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE
What exactly does that mean to me? Why have I tried my best to raise awareness of the West Memphis Three? Why have I spent the last 12 years raising money for their legal funds? Why is today, Friday August 19, 2011 so important to me? Let’s start at the beginning…
In 1996 I was living in Portland Oregon and saw a commercial on HBO for a documentary they were going to be airing. What caught my attention was the music being played, it was Metallica. Up to that point Metallica had never leant their music rights to any movie or TV show. As stupid as it may sound to you, that was enough to get me interested in seeing Paradise Lost: The Murders at Robin Hood Hills. A documentary about a trial of three teenage boys for the murder, rape, and mutilation of three 8 year old boys in West Memphis Arkansas.
I watched the documentary the night it was first aired. And three things hit me and changed my life forever…
#1. These teens are fucked up? How can three teenage boys do something so heinous and vile?
#2. Wait a minute… I don’t think they did it!!!
#3. There but for the grace of the gods go I…
You see, these three teenagers were arrested, tried, and convicted of a despicable crime with no evidence, the coerced confession of one of the defendants who was a minor with no attorney or parent present and a deficient mental capacity, the fact that they wore black clothes, listened to heavy metal, read Stephen King, and dabbled in Wicca and the Occult. They were convicted due to ‘satanic panic’.
There but for the grace of the gods go I. In high school I wore black, listened to metal, read Stephen King, was somewhat of an outcast from everyone else, and studied various religions at the time. You read my high school year book inscriptions and it has sayings in there about drinking virgin blood and sacrificing small animals over the summer. Sure it was a joke my ‘friends’ posted in my year books. But, what if what happened in West Memphis actually happened in Ferndale, Ca.
Ferndale, Ca population 1,800 humans, 1,000,000 heads of cattle in 1987. You sneeze on one end of main street and on the other end reports of your death are circulating. If this horrible crime had happened in Ferndale I would have been suspect #1. No doubt in my mind. Am I being melodramatic? How about this? One day a bunch of us went to a friend’s house to party during lunch. I provided a bottle of vodka; only one person drank that day, a preacher’s son. We returned to school, and preacher’s son puked in front of the principal’s office. After hours of interrogating everyone that preacher’s son named was there, I was put before the chief of police who told me in front of witnesses that he believed I was the one to blame for all the drug trafficking running through Ferndale.
Preposterous. If you know anything about Marijuana, you know that Humboldt County California used to be the pot capital of the United States, and some of the best pot came from the mountains above Ferndale and down the coast. One of only two ways to get it off the mountain was to run it through Ferndale. We’re talking BILLIONS of dollars of pot running through main street Ferndale, and me, a lowly senior in high school was the mastermind behind all that? Really? All because I got a preacher’s kid drunk? I was suspended, charged, and convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. I myself being a minor. Here’s the beauty part, to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, you have to have a minor also. He was never charged, he wasn’t suspended, NOTHING happened to him. I had to go to AA meetings because I gave this kid a bottle of vodka that he approached me and asked me for.
So, extrapolate that 1,000,000 times, and picture Ferndale Ca when 3 eight year olds have been viciously murdered, raped, and mutilated. Who gets the finger pointed at first? The weird kid who just moved there. That’s who.
There but for the grace of the gods go I.
So after watching Paradise Lost, I was mortified at the miscarriage of justice I had just seen. The internet was just struggling to become what you see and have today, so connecting with others who knew about the West Memphis Three was slow going. It wasn’t until 1999 that I found a website dedicated to the WM3 as they would become known by. And started reading more about the appeals and various legal wrangling the defense teams were doing.
It was 2000 when I started hosting charity events with the FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE Defense Fund as the main if not sole charity receiving all proceeds. I cannot name how many events I held, or help hold, how many thousands of dollars I took part in raising, or how much of my own money over the years I have put into it. But it was never enough.
People ask me why this case over the other thousands or tens of thousands of cases of injustice out there, and I simply tell them there but for the grace of the gods go I.
Today in a surprise move the West Memphis Three, Damien Echols, Jessie MissKelly, & Jason Baldwin were released from prison. Echols was on death row and had been in solitary confinement for the last 10 years. Jessie and Jason were sentenced to life in prison.
The DA had offered up a plea deal 18 years after the murders, 17 years after their convictions that would allow them to walk out of the court room ‘free’ men. All they had to do was plead guilty to the crimes, but maintain their innocence in what is known as the Alford Plea, and they would walk out the door.
They are still on record as convicted of the crimes, and the court still sees them as the defendants of the crimes, but they are allowed to maintain their innocence.
I cried as the DA read his press statement that the West Memphis Three were ‘freed’. It has been a long 15 years of raising awareness of a travesty of justice. I have purchased The Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt over 30 something times (maybe more) and given them away as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, etc. I have pushed hard when working with others to include the WM3 as part of the charities we work for, and I have spent countless hours talking to anyone who will listen about them. I have worn a bracelet with their names and incarceration date on it for 8 years or more. Today I can have their release date etched into it finally, August 19, 2011.
While I am happy for the men that they finally get to go home after 18 years of being locked up, and I don’t pretend to know what they have gone through in that time, I am saddened by the fact that the state, the police, and the judicial system of Arkansas will not be held accountable for their misdeeds.
I am saddened that now we may never know who truly did it, and I am heartbroken for the victim’s families that they may never get the closure they deserve.
Part of the sadness comes from the fact that the West Memphis Three, as part of their plea deal, cannot sue the state for what they have gone through for the MAJORITY of their lives, nor can they make any money off books/tv/movies made about them later on.
So there is no compensation for them after being behind bars longer than two of them had been alive at the time of incarceration.
Plus, in the courts eyes, they are still guilty.
All this after the DA said in his press conference that while he believes they did it, he didn’t think after 18 years, the new DNA evidence, the jury misconduct evidence (both to be presented to the state supreme court in December to add to the move for new trials for all three men), the fact that two of the victims mothers (third mother died already…) now support the freeing of the WM3, and the fact that some evidence has ‘gone missing’ over the years, that he could get a conviction if in fact they had to have a new trial.
So… to keep his conviction, to keep his record intact, to keep the conviction of his highest profile case as he moves into an election year, he offered the men a rarely used plea bargain that lets them out with time served but let’s them maintain their innocence.
Are Damien, Jessie, and Jason home today? Yes. Are they ‘free’ men right now? Yes. Are they innocent? I believe Yes. Is this behind them now? No. sadly, it is not.
But today… as Natalie Maines put it best… The WEST MEMPHIS THREE SHALL NOW BE KNOWN AS THE WEST MEMPHIS FREE.
For more on the WM3 click here.
For more on Mara Leveritt click here.
To purchase Paradise Lost 1 and 2 click here.
For more information on Paradise Lost 3 click here.
To purchase Devil’s Knot click here.
There but for the grace of the gods go I.
In my inscriptions of the Devil’s Knot that I would give to people I always wrote this: Rage against the dying of the light. – Dylan Thomas
Today… that light burns just a little bit brighter.
Jesus titties people, this has had to be the most confusing day in music in…. like… forever or something.
Black Sabbath has reunited, but they didn’t. Rhapsody Of Fire split and dude is taking the word Rhapsody with him but not ‘Of Fire’ because… wait, why is he naming his new band Rhapsody if he doesn’t want to be in Rhapsody Of Fire anymore?
And now this…
KISS will rock Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium as part of “Michael Forever – The Tribute Concert.”
Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine Jackson revealed the latest addition to the Oct. 8 concert in the U.K. while appearing on CNN this morning, saying her son “would be very excited about KISS.” Acts already announced for the mega-show in Wales include Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Leona Lewis, Smokey Robinson, Craig David, The Jackson Brothers, Alien Ant Farm, 3T and Brit boy band JLS.
BUT WAIT!!!! There’s more…
Promoters yanked the rock band KISS from the Michael Jackson tribute show Tuesday after fans called their attention to negative remarks KISS leader Gene Simmons made about the pop star in the weeks after his death.
The reversals came a day after Katherine Jackson appeared live on CNN to announce the addition of KISS to the lineup for “Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert,” scheduled for October 8 in Cardiff, Wales.
“We have listened to Michael’s fans and are grateful to have been alerted to these unfortunate statements by Gene Simmons,” Global Live Events CEO Chris Hunt told CNN Tuesday.
Fan clubs appeared in open revolt against the tribute show after promoters added the group. Fan websites pointed to published interviews in which Simmons spoke about his suspicions that Jackson, who was acquitted of child molestation in 2005, was a pedophile.
Wait. Just wait a damned minute. Let me catch my breath.
Ok, I think I get it. But, what about these questions…
Why would KISS perform at a Michael Jackson benefit show?
Why would the Jacksons WANT KISS to perform at an MJ benefit show?
Why would ANYONE think KISS would be a good idea at an MJ benefit?
Why is there a BOY BAND performing at an MJ benefit? Can no one in the UK spell IRONY or understand it?
(Yet Another Heavy Metal WTF?!?!) BLACK SABBATH original member to reunite… No, wait… No they are not.
We at Away-Team.com are as guilty as the next guy of reading something and firing off a news alert on our website and running with it as gospel without checking it out. Ok… I am the only one here at Away-Team.com guilty of that very thing.
When I read this morning the breaking news that BLACK SABBATH was reuniting, I couldn’t wait to get to my laptop and put it on our website, and hail the glorious news of what we all know is eventually going to happen.
Thankfully I was too busy in meetings to post the link that everyone else on the internet posted. And when I did have time to sit down and read up on the news of the day guess what I found out. BLACK SABBATH is NOT reuniting. D’OH!
So, are you confused yet? Here’s what happened. I think. Maybe. Ok, I’m not sure, but I’m running with this version, just like the entire world ran with their INCORRECT versions earlier today….
From the website that started it all… the SundayMercury.net:
THE most closely guarded secret in rock music can be revealed – the original Black Sabbath line-up is getting back together.
Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have begun rehearsing for a tour and new studio album.
In June this year vocalist Ozzy and guitarist Iommi wrote new material for a record that will be released next year.
‘‘We’re really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we’ve been writing is really good,’’ said 63-year-old Iommi. ‘‘It’s more back to the old original stuff.’’
He added that the reunion has been kept under wraps for some time.
‘‘It’s all been very hush-hush. Ozzy’s been the worst at trying to hold it back. He’s doing a lot of TV and he’s being asked stuff about a reunion and he’s going ‘well I never say never’.
‘‘He told me, ‘I don’t know what to say’.’’
So the metal world went abuzz today with the news that the original BLACK SABBATH was reuniting. And there was much rejoicing, and merriment, and all seemed right with the world.
“I’m saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion.
At the time I was supporting the Home Of Metal exhibition and was merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, ‘Are you getting back together?’.
Thanks to the internet it’s gone round the world as some sort of “official” statement on my part, absolute nonsense. I hope he’s enjoyed his moment of glory, he won’t have another at my expense.
To my old pals, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill, sorry about this, I should have known better.
All the best, Tony.”
Confused now? So Tony talked to the reporter in June and said, what? That yes they were working on a new album? He was ‘speculating‘ on a tour and new album? So why would Tony ‘speculate‘ with a journalist? “oh we were just shooting the shit, and I was joking about being busy with the fellas and Ozzy and oh, yeah, don’t write this stuff down, it’s just a joke. I’m just having a goof here.” Or maybe ‘speculate’ means something else in the Queen’s English???
Anyone want to put money on the official official announcement of BLACK SABBATH officially reuniting officially within 5 months? Anyone? My money’s on fuck yes.
(another Heavy Metal WTF?!?? RHAPSODY OF FIRE announce split with Luca Turilli who will have a band named RHAPSODY (just so you aren’t confused)
After 15 years of friendship, hard work, passion fully invested in the creation of symphonic music, and an epic saga that will remain embedded in the history of heavy metal, RHAPSODY OF FIRE keyboard player Alex Staropoli and guitarist / composer Luca Turilli have decided on an amicable split.
“10 albums released and the end of the saga represent – musically and lyrically – an important artistic goal finally reached, underlined by the success of our last release From Chaos To Eternity, for which we want to thank our wonderful fans once again. Now it came the time when new artistic stimulations need to be found, in respect to both parties’ visions and perspectives and of our longtime friendship,” say Luca and Alex.
Due to the latest legal agreements currently in force, Alex Staropoli will go on with the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name keeping singer Fabio Lione, drummer Alex Holzwarth, and guitarist Tom Hess.
Following the same agreements and the original name’s common ownership, guitarist Luca Turilli will release his future works with a new band as RHAPSODY, which will include guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, and drummmer Alex Holzwarth.
Alex says: “While wishing the best to Luca and his new band, I want to tell you that Fabio and myself feel motivated and stronger than ever and that RHAPSODY OF FIRE are already planning a great worldwide tour. More information regarding the new bass player and the new second guitar player will follow. Stay tuned!”
Really??? You are leaving the band you have been in for 15 years, and you are starting your own band… with the same name (ish)? Did we not learn anything from L.A. GUNS people? I know there are more bands out there touring under the same moniker, but they aren’t necessarily making new music. This guy is leaving an established act, and going to do a new band, but take part of the name, for the recognition factor of course.
Look, you want to leave your band? Do it. Leave. But leave the name, go and be in a new band. Just call it something else for fuck’s sake.
WTF is going on in the world of JUDAS PRIEST?
First we have this diatribe (that I had to go find on a Polish website because Metal Gods et al had taken it down already):
Dear Visitors of RH.com:
Metal God Entertainment, Metal God Records and its affiliated companies and web properties will begin removing Judas Priest related topics from its web sites in protest of Glenn Tipton (decision maker), Jayne Andrews (amateur thug for Glenn, can’t trust, leach), Bill Curbishley (apathetic leach) and John McBride (Unlicensed, Unregistered Accountant, leach) for lack of Professional and Ethical conduct as it relates to Rob Halford‘s business matters for much of the last six (6) years.
Rob will publicly deny the above, so we will take a seat next to K.K. Downing and watch how the Glenn and Jayne show plays out.
I’m sure you’ll read about the details of this matter more in future.
For those that don’t know, John Baxter is Rob Halford‘s Manager. And SUPPOSEDLY this missive came straight from him, and was at one time posted on some of Rob Halford‘s websites.
So, in response to the above message, we get this from JudasPriest.com:
There has recently been some nonsense and propaganda posted on the internet including on Rob‘s website, regarding the band and management. (Rob currently is not controlling his website and absolutely does not agree with the comments)
We refuse to get drawn into any public arguments – it is below us and will be dealt with legally. The band have always jointly made any major decisions and have been with the same management team for over 25 years. Everyone knows and respects them in the music business and we have ultimate faith and trust in the way they have always guided us.
We are totally focused now on the Epitaph tour and the reactions every night have been incredible. The shows have been amazing and we’re having the time of our lives! Our intention now is to travel the world one last time and perform Judas Priest style Heavy Metal for all the fans out there. The mood and atmosphere in the band has never been better!
We have just completed the European/UK first leg of our world tour and now after a short break are going to South America and then the States – come along – join in and keep the Faith !!
ROB, GLENN, IAN, SCOTT & RICHIE
Let’s not forget K.K. Downing‘s post about his departure from Judas Priest:
“There has been an ongoing breakdown in [the] working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time. Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.”
Ok, so apparently Rob‘s personal manager has beef with K.K. and the Management team of Judas Priest. (Jayne works for Bill who is listed as their manager).
I’ve heard stories about her for years, none I can print, but trust they are pretty good, and do not paint fair Jayne in a good light.
But, don’t take my word for it. Read the press releases she puts out herself. They are HILARIOUS…
You can scour the Judaspriest.com news for her posts. Which I’ve always found a little odd, is their manager running their website? Is Judas Priest‘s manager K.K. Downing’s personal manager too? Is that not some kind of conflict of interest?
You don’t see Q-Prime running Metallica‘s website, or posting on Queensryche‘s website about quashing rumors or ‘setting the record‘ straight. Every second post by Jayne, and every press release we ever get from her is ‘setting the record straight‘ on something. Most press releases are about positive things, new single/album/video/show date, etc. But not hers, they are ensuring that everyone knows who she is, and that she is ‘currently with the band‘ at such and such a place, and oh, while I’m writing this, let me spew some negative crap, and ‘quash‘ this rumor.
Most bands, and most certainly their managers simply don’t dignify the rumors with a response. If there is no fuel, the fire dies. But not Jayne, she’s online ASAP running roughshod over everything to make sure no one has the wrong idea about her, or ‘the band‘.
Looking forward to how this plays out… and I’m hoping John Baxter is wrong and it isn’t all done behind closed lawyer doors.
For more JUDAS PRIEST (and more Jayne Andrews than you probably care for) click here.
Two beers based on heavy bands to surface from craft brewers.
If Heavy Metal beer collaborations is a trend I do like the way these are going. Using a band’s attitude & lyrical imagery as the basis for label art and beer recipes opens up a wide range of possibilities for creative brewers and gives bands another outlet to reach out to their audience and possibly.
The Amon Amarth label looks like an 1980′s album cover depicting an epic Viking battle. The Clutch label will be silk screened on 22 ounce bottles using the band logo from their self titled second album.
Label art form the Amon Amarth brew can be seen below and at BEERNEWS.ORG
Detailed images can be found on the artists website: timlehi.blogspot.com
Beer description: Pure rock fury meets Belgian-style brewed folly in this collaboration with Maryland hard-rockers, Clutch. A pronounced bass line of dark chocolate, coffee and black malts bridge the sourness of our dark wood ale for a fluid riff.
So the greatest metal show of all time is set to take place this Saturday April 23rd in California. It is every metal heads dream gig. It is The BIG 4: METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH, & ANTHRAX all performing on the same stage. Yes, this IS a big deal. I will not be there, but it IS a big deal. It is a show that everyone thought would never happen.
Then something funny happened on the way to the polo club. Jeff Hanneman caught some kind of flesh eating virus, and Scott Ian knocked up Pearl Aday. And now Gary Holt (EXODUS) is taking Jeff‘s place and Andreas Kisser (SEPULTURA) is taking Scott‘s place.
In Jeff‘s case we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope he returns to the SLAYER ranks soon and healed up 100%. Word is he is almost ready to return, and wanted to for this show, but he just isn’t quite there yet.
In Scott‘s case his fiancée Pearl Aday is pregnant, and due to spill any day. So, wanting to be the good first time father he is not attending any Anthrax dates currently until the birth of their child. No word on how long of a Paternity leave he will be taking once the baby is born.
Here’s where Scott‘s logic gets a little fuzzy for me. He can’t attend the BIG 4 concert to play in the US in front of possibly 200,000 people but he can attend the Golden Gods Awards yesterday WITH Pearl in tow? Really? No, he did. And here is a picture to prove it.
Who am I to jump on him for making the difficult decision of not playing the biggest US show of his career? Why not appear at some awards show in LA on a Wednesday and not appear two hours southeast of LA to perform for a quarter million people three days later? Makes perfect sense to me.
So I ask you this question, can the BIG 4 be the BIG 4 if they are missing 2 of the most well known metal guitar players in the world?
So for about a month while FLOGGING MOLLY was on tour we had you guys send us pictures of you at the show, backstage, on the bus, under a roadie, whatever. Just proving to us you were at any one of the shows. The Green 17 tour is over, all the entries are in, and it is now time to announce our winner!
So congratulations to Julie for being the Grand Prize Winner of our FLOGGING MOLLY contest! Not only did Julie get to see the band in Nashville, but she also got to meet the band and had this picture taken of her and Nathan!
And for taking the time to send in the picture to us Julie wins the following items:
1 set of FLOGGING MOLLY shot glasses
1 Within a Mile of Home CD
1 Float CD (autographed by the band)
1 Drunken Lullabies CD
1 Swagger CD
Thanks to everyone that submitted and congratulations to Julie for being our Grand Prize winner!!!!