Newsbites: Rush Rock Hall speech was surprise
Rush frontman Geddy Lee says he and Neil Peart were taken by surprise when Alex Lifeson delivered a speech during their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction that consisted entirely of the phrase “blah blah blah.” Lee explains: “I wish he would have warned us. We could have thought it was planned, as opposed to feeling like maybe he was losing his marbles.” But he accepts Lifeson’s performance was an extension of their light-hearted stage personas. “Left to our own devices out ideas are usually pretty goofy,” he says. “It seems a shame to not share that goofiness with our fans, who have obviously come to love it.” [South Town Star]
Former Devo drummer Alan Myers has died of cancer, aged 58. He was a member of the band from 1976 to 1985. Co-founder Gerald Cadale has said Myers was a key player in the band’s success, adding: “It was Alan who brought everything to life. People watching him thought we were using a drum machine – nobody had ever drummed like that.”
Sammy Hagar will release an album of collaborations on September 29. It’s called Sammy Hagar And Friends and features Chickenfoot bandmates Joe Satriani and Michael Anthony plus Neal Schon, Kid Rock, Nancy Wilson and others. The record includes original tracks plus covers of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus and Bob Seger’s Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.
Walking Papers, Duff McKagan’s latest band, are offering a free download of their track I’ll Stick Around. Get it here.
Halestorm‘s Grammy win doesn’t mean they’ve become financially secure, says front woman Lzzy Hale. “There’s a lot of people who are like, ‘Wow, they’re rich!’” she reports. “No – the Grammy didn’t come with a million dollars. We just got a statue.” But she admits she’s still “flabbergasted” over the win: “When we got the nomination we were like, ‘That’s good enough for us. We’re not gonna push our luck. We definitely won’t win.’ I remember them saying ‘The Grammy goes to…’ and then I think I blacked out. Our brains turned to mush and we went screaming up to the podium and had nothing intelligent to say.” [Oakland Press]
Blondie will release their tenth studio album Ghosts Of Download later this year, following the launch of latest single A Rose By Any Name.
Rick Wakeman has paid tribute to vocalist Gary Pickford Hopkins, who died at the weekend aged 65. The Wild Turkey and Eyes Of Blue frontman worked with Wakeman on his concept albums Journey To The Centre Of The Earth and The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table. “I always felt he deserved more recognition than he got as a singer,” says Wakeman, “although he had that recognition from his peers and contemporaries. Gary had a great sense of humour, which you’re going to need if you’re on the road for a long time. It was a drug-free band but we made up for it with drinking and we did like to party, so I have a lot of happy memories of being on the road with Gary.” [This Is South Wales]
Steve Hillage has released Live In England 1979 as a CD/DVD set with a tracklist including Salmon Song, Unzipping The Zype, Hurdy Gurdy Man, It’s All Too Much and more. He says: “This was a great performance from another fine period of my band, with John McKenzie on bass and Andy Anderson on drums.”
Andrew WK has broken the world drumming record by playing non-stop for 24 hours. He reports: “I feel very emotional.”
Annihilator‘s Jeff Waters recently discovered he’d been shortlisted to replace James Hetfield in Metallica following the 1992 pyro accident that left him severely burned. “Jason Newsted surprised me with the story,” he explains. “He said I was to get the call to fill in for James on guitar, but they decided on John Marshall as they knew him. That was pretty cool, eh?”
Former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden has recruited David Coverdale to appear on his upcoming album. Marsden describes the work as “kind of retro, but with a 2013 sound.”