Anne Robards
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Posts from October 2013

IT'S OFFICIAL: METALLICA IS HEADED FOR ANTARCTICA

As rumored earlier this week, Metallica will play a concert in Antarctica next month, according to Blabbermouth. The one-of-a-kind show is being sponsored by Coca-Cola Zero and fans from several Latin and South American countries will get a chance to enter a contest and win the opportunity to join the band on the expedition.

Metallica stated, "After over 30 years as a band, we have been unbelievably fortunate to visit just about every corner of the earth . . . except for one. That is all about to change as we are set travel to Antarctica, the only continent that Metallica has never played on until now!! We are partnering with Coca-Cola Zero for one of the most unique and special concert events in our career as we'll be performing near the heliport of the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini on Sunday, December 8, 2013."

Fans from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico will be able to enter the contest, starting on October 28th and ending on November 22nd.
The winners will leave on December 3rd in a cruise from the port of Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, on a 10-day journey to Antarctica.
While on their trip, the winners will get to view the landscapes of the continent. participate in lectures to be provided by specialists, see audio-visual material on the work of the scientists and receive environmental information.
The concert will take place under a dome at the Carlini Argentine Base will be heard by the fans through headphones, with no other amplifiers or sound system. The gig will also be live-streamed in the participating countries.

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FLASHBACK: LYNYRD SKYNYRD'S PLANE CRASHES




It was 36 years ago Sunday (October 20th, 1977), that a plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in a swamp near Gillsburg, Mississippi. At the time, the group was en route to its next show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The crash took the lives of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant; guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines; Lynyrd Skynyrd manager Dean Kilpatrick, as well as the plane's two pilots.

All the other members of the band suffered horrific injuries, from which they eventually recovered. Two years later, survivors Gary Rossington and Allen Collins (guitars), Billy Powell (keyboards) and Leon Wilkeson (bass) formed a new group, the Rossington-Collins Band. A decade after the plane crash, the surviving members of Skynyrd regrouped under the legendary name and played a series of dates to mark the anniversary with Johnnie Van Zant, the younger brother of Ronnie Van Zant, stepping in as his permanent replacement.

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JOHN LENNON REMEMBERED ON HIS BIRTHDAY



Today (October 9th) marks what would have been John Lennon's 73rd birthday. By nightfall tonight, hundreds of fans will have made the pilgrimage to Central Park's Strawberry Fields in New York City for a day of remembrance, sing-alongs, and celebrations dedicated to the memory of Lennon. Strawberry Fields, a triangular patch of land dedicated to Lennon by the city of New York and named after the Beatles' 1967 hit, sits directly across the street from the Dakota, Lennon's Manhattan apartment building, where he was gunned down on December 8th, 1980 at the age 40. Today is also Lennon and Yoko Ono's son Sean Lennon's 38th birthday.

Fans were shocked earlier this week when Lennon's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame was defaced by vandals. Volunteer fan crews have been working overtime to get the star ready for today's celebrations. The star, which is adjacent to the Beatle's record label headquarters in Los Angeles, is the primary spot for fans to gather both on Lennon's birthday and the day of his death.

Last month we reported that Lennon's only full-rehearsed concert from 1972 is getting a drastic overhaul. Producer Jack Douglas, best known for his work with Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and Lennon's final 1980 songs on Double Fantasy and Milk And Honey, revealed to us in an exclusive interview that plans are in the early stages to restore the show for an upcoming release. On August 30th, 1972, Lennon and Yoko Ono were backed by Elephants Memory for two full concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden. The performances, known as the One To One concerts, included an afternoon matinee and an evening performance, benefited the Willowbrook House, with the proceeds from the shows going to help establish new accommodations for the mentally handicapped inhabitants of the former Willowbrook institution in Long Island, New York.

Douglas, who was behind the boards for the 2010 Double Fantasy Stripped Down collection, says that unlike the 1986 LP and VHS versions of the '72 show -- called, Live In New York City -- he plans to include material from both the afternoon and evening charity concerts. No release date has been set.

JOHN LENNON FAST FACTS

Lennon's full birth name was John Winston Lennon. In April 1969, he legally changed his middle name to "Ono."
Although Lennon is often said to be an only child, he in fact has five half-siblings. Julia and Jacqui Dykins are on his mother Julia's side, as well as another sister, Victoria, who was adopted at birth.

In the mid '70s, Lennon's father Freddie fathered two sons, named David and Robin Lennon.

Lennon's mother Julia taught John his first song on the guitar, Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame."

Lennon and Paul McCartney made a handshake deal in late 1957, agreeing that all compositions written by either one of them -- solo or in collaboration with each other -- would be credited to "Lennon-McCartney."

The Beatles performed Lennon's first original composition, titled "Hello Little Girl," at their unsuccessful Decca Records audition on January 1st, 1962.

After the Beatles' breakup, both Lennon and McCartney gave separate interviews detailing who wrote what within the duo's partnership. They two agreed on everything except two songs -- Lennon claimed that he wrote the majority of the lyrics to McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" and McCartney claimed that he wrote the melody to Lennon's "In My Life."
Although uncredited, Lennon helped write the lyrics to George Harrison's song "Taxman" from the Beatles' Revolver album and "Piggies" from "The White Album."

Lennon's lucky number was nine. The number popped up in several of his songs, including "One After 909," "Revolution #9," and "#9 Dream."

Although primarily a rhythm guitarist, Lennon played bass on several McCartney-written Beatles classics, including "Back In The U.S.S.R.," "Helter Skelter," "Let It Be," and "The Long And Winding Road."

Lennon played keyboards on "I'm Down," "Tell Me What You See," "The Night Before," "We Can Work It Out," "Penny Lane," "The Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite," "All You Need Is Love," "Hello Goodbye," "I Am The Walrus," "Hey Bulldog," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Because," and others.

Lennon also played lead guitar on a number of Beatles tracks too, including "Get Back," "You Can't Do That," "Honey Pie," "Yer Blues," "For You Blue," "The Ballad Of John And Yoko," and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."
Lennon published two books of short stories and prose during the height of Beatlemania -- 1964's In His Own Write and 1965's A Spaniard In The Works. In 1986 a novel written in the late-'70s, titled Skywriting By Word Of Mouth, was published posthumously.

Prior to returning to Yoko after their infamous 14-month separation in the early 1970s, Lennon was planning to travel to New Orleans to record with McCartney, who was then working on Wings' Venus And Mars album.
Lennon and McCartney last saw each other on April 24th, 1976, when they watched Saturday Night Live as producer Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles a whopping $3,000 to reunite on the show. They briefly considered heading to Rockefeller Center where the show was being performed, as a gag. The two last spoke on the phone in early 1980.
Before deciding to take a five-year sabbatical from recording, Lennon was composing material for a 1976 album, tentatively titled Between The Lines.

In the years prior to his death in New York, Lennon usually woke up around dawn each day, and by mid-morning would walk over to the since-closed upscale neighborhood coffee house Cafe LaFortuna and read The New York Times, The London Times, and several other international newspapers to get a global view of daily current events.
Lennon was also known to occasionally go out for drinks at his local watering hole, Malachy's Donegal Inn, only a block away from the Dakota.

At the time of his death, John and Yoko were rumored to be planning a world tour, to tentatively start in the spring of 1981 with a free show in New York's Central Park, and eventually culminating with a concert in the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool.

In the weeks prior to his death, Lennon was working on two new songs, called "You Saved My Soul (With Your True Love)" and "Dear John." An edited version of "Dear John" appears on the 1998 John Lennon Anthology.

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ACE FREHLEY AND PETER CRISS PASS ON OFFICIAL KISS DOCUMENTARY




Following years of bad blood, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have opted out of appearing in what's being billed as the definitive Kiss documentary, You Wanted The Best You Got The Best. Classic Rock magazine spoke to director Alan G. Parker, who's behind the officially sanctioned film, and he shed light on why the two co-founders are staying away from anything having to do with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, explaining, "Gene and Paul were shocked at first, but now they don't seem to be. There's been so much bitchiness down the years, and so much said about and done to Ace and Peter that they interpreted the request to be in the movie as a favor to Gene and Paul. Because of that they won't go anywhere near it. The negotiations were interesting to say the least."

In the end Parker will use footage shot of Frehley and Criss by band archivist -- and current lead guitarist -- Tommy Thayer back in 2001. In addition to Thayer and current drummer Eric Singer, Parker has filmed interviews with former guitarist Bruce Kulick and his brother Bob Kulick -- who performed on many of the band's studio tracks. Parker also held, "positive meetings" with the family of Eric Carr, the band's late drummer, who replaced Peter Criss in 1980 and died of heart cancer in 1991.

With a few more interviews still to undertake, Parker "hopes to show the finished film to the band in February or March, followed by a spot at the Cannes Film Festival in May and a worldwide opening in the autumn of 2014."
Former Kiss filmmaker Tommy Thayer now "portrays" Frehley's character in Kiss' live show. Unlike Frehley's original replacement Vinnie Vincent -- who was given his own unique persona -- fans have had mixed reactions to Thayer duping some fans into thinking Frehley is still playing with the band. Thayer looks at it from a theatrical, rather than a historical perspective: "You've had different guitarists in and out of the band, and different members -- at this point, if you start introducing new characters and new makeup designs and things, that I think that it really dilutes the whole core and, y'know, the original foundation of what Kiss is. And those four original characters are certainly the whole basis of it. To change that and come up with a new design or character, it just convolutes things."

FAST FACTS

Ace Frehley left Kiss after the band's 2002 Farewell dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.
Peter Criss claimed that his contract with Kiss wasn't renewed in March 2004.
Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
INTERNET COMMENTS at ClassicRockMagazine.com and UltimateClassicRock.com -- agree or not?

Chuck Thim wrote: "While I agree that Frehley & Criss have shot themselves in the foot numerous times because of their dependecies & most of the time have only themselves to blame, Gene & Paul, (mostly Gene), could've shown more class over the years. The bashing should've ended years ago. A compliment every now & then wouldn't kill him. I can't say I blame Ace & Peter for not participating. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they're not just holding out for money. I'm sure they didn't make as much as Gene & Paul through the reunion years. Not sure if it was true, but I had read that Ace owed a lot in back taxes on his Conneticut mansion. Neither he nor Criss have ever been wise with their money. wasn't music a lot more fun before we realized it was a business?"

Brayton Wright wrote: "This film is being paid for by Universal - not Gene/Paul or KISS Co. Alan Parker is the one behind it and his resume is impressive for these documentaries. He has no incentive to lean it to Gene/Paul's favour when it's not them footing the bill. He wouldn't make a biased documentary now if he hasn't before. It'd be detrimental to his reputation as a filmmaker. Ace/Peter passed up on this - the largest platform for their side of the story, honestly. The fans lose on this because they're robbed of everyone's take. Ace/Peter want to have their side told? They just passed on it, and it's a shame."

warptek wrote: "Gene and Paul were shocked at Ace and Peter? Gee, could it be you both have bad mouthed them in the press for years and years, fired Peter, replaced the legendary Ace f****** Frehley with a tribute band replacement? Get real, pompous arrogant pr****. I wish whats left of this once great band would just quietly disappear."

Gary Fox wrote: "they were fired because they couldn't cut it musically or physically anymore"

CHECK IT OUT: Kiss in 1998 performing "I Was Made For Loving You" live at Dodger Stadium:


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