PETTY TALKS SONGWRITING AHEAD OF BEING HANDED HUGE HONOR
Tomorrow night in Los Angeles, Tom Petty will be handed the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ (ASCAP) Founders Award in recognition of his four-decades of penning timeless classic hits. When asked by Billboard to describe his songwriting process, the 63-year old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said, “It’s really hard to explain because I don’t really understand it myself.” He went on to say that he usually just grabs his guitar and waits for inspiration to hit, and when it does “it’s a very real magic.”
MCKAGAN TO PERFORM WITH GUNS N’ ROSES AT AWARDS SHOW IN L.A.
Fresh off his fill-in bassist stint at five recent South American Guns N’ Roses gigs, Duff McKagan will join the Axl Rose-led Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group onstage tomorrow night at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Revolver magazine confirmed McKagan will take part in the band’s event-closing set. Rose is scheduled to receive this year’s Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award, while Joan Jett will be the first female to be handed the Golden God Award.
DAVE DAVIES OFFERS SUPPORT TO AILING AC/DC AXEMAN
Aside from being in Rock and Roll Hal of Fame bands with their respective brothers, the Kinks guitarist Dave Davies and AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young may have something else in common: suffering strokes. AC/DC has yet to announce the specific nature of the illness that has forced Young to take time away from the band, but rumors have swirled that Young suffered a stroke. Those reports prompted Davies, who suffered a stroke in 2004, to offer Young words of encouragement via Facebook. Aside from telling Young to “never give up,” Davies offered more specific advice, including, “Always exercise your hands and fingers – picking coins from the floor – picking up pins from a flat surface – constantly touch the tips of your fingers with the thumb and try to do it faster and faster – imagine playing your best solos ever in your mind before you go to sleep – daily.”
OZZY NAMED ONE OF THE HARDEST SINGERS TO UNDERSTAND
A recent survey conducted by UK-based video on demand service Blinkbox has named odd couple Ozzy Osbourne and Lady Gaga the two artists with the hardest lyrics to understand. Citing the survey, the UK’s The Independent reports, “Many Brits believed…Ozzy’s lyric ‘Off the rails on a crazy train’ was misheard as ‘Off the rails on a gravy train,’” while “the line in Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ was ‘Poke her face.’” Other lines that made the mush-mouthed top 10 include Queen’s “Kicking your cat all over the place” from “We Will Rock You,” Bon Jovi’s “It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not” from “Livin’ On a Prayer,” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” from “Purple Haze.”
LESH SAYS GARCIA’S DEATH STILL FRESH ON HIS MIND
It will be 19 years this August 9 since Grateful Dead principal Jerry Garcia died, but for former bandmate Phil Lesh, accepting Garcia’s death is something he’s still struggling with. Lesh told Rolling Stone, “It’s taken me 15 years to come to terms with Jerry’s death. And I’m not completely there yet.” Lesh, who first met Garcia in 1962, added, “I have never heard anybody play banjo like that, before or since. His ideas would spill over one another like a flood.”
MARSHALL TUCKER BAND TICKLED BY CONTESTANTS TACKLING HUGE HIT
Who knows how far Southern rock royalty The Marshall Tucker Band would have gone had its members entered a show like American Idol or The Voice when they first kicked off their long and illustrious career. But contestants on both of those reality shows recently chose to perform the band’s “Can’t You See,” a tribute founding member Doug Gray doesn’t take lightly. He told Billboard, “Their theme night was bands that had endured over a period of time, and that really made me feel good. They mentioned us and [Lynyrd] Skynyrd and people like this… So, to watch those guys do it, and all the emails and calls was amazing.” For the record; C.J. Harris covered “Can’t You See” on American Idol, and Patrick Thompson sung the song on The Voice.
ALICE IN CHAINS LOCKS DOWN MORE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
Seattle stalwart Alice in Chains will launch its North American tour this Friday in Tulsa, OK, but the band has just announced it’s added a boatload of summer dates that will keep the band on the road through August 23 in Rama, Ontario, Canada. The group’s spring string of concerts runs through May 24 in Council Bluffs, IA, followed by a flurry of festival appearances in June and July all over the world. The new run of summer shows begins August 8 in Penticton, British Columbia.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums out today: Little Feat – Live in Holland 1976; Winger – Better Days Comin’ (CD/DVD Deluxe Edition); Sebastian Bach – Give Em’ Hell.