Classic Rock News

Radio Legend Casey Kasem Dead at 82

( Casey Kasem, legendary host of the American Top 40 radio program that counted down the hits for American audiences every week, has died. He was 82. Kasem passed away Sunday (June 15) after a lengthy illness and battle over his conservatorship by his family member, CBS News reports. A judge ruled earlier this month that Kasem's daughter Kerri had the right to withhold food, fluids and medication from her father, a process that began earlier this week, Billboard reported. Kerri Kasem and Jean Kasem, the broadcaster's wife of 34 years, had been locked in a battle for control over the decision to keep him alive. Forbes reported that, after the ruling in Kerri Kasem's favor on Wednesday (June 11), Jean Kasem stormed out of the courtroom, announcing, "You have blood on your hands!" Kasem had suffered from Lewy body dementia since last year, a condition similar to Parkinson's that had rendered him with trouble speaking. He had also been bedridden for some time, and had been hospitalized with bedsores and sepsis.

The Birthplace of Black Sabbath May Be Lost

(Classic Rock) The Birmingham pub where Black Sabbath began has been sold to developers - and the landlady has been ordered to get out by next Monday. The Crown played host to the fledgling outfit when they were still known as Earth, and long before they became one of the biggest bands on the planet. Plans to turn it into a permanent museum while still operating as a cafe, pub and club had been discussed for some time. But now owners Admiral Taverns have sold the premises to a Japanese firm - and licensee Collen Andrews, who took over nine months ago, has been given her marching orders. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has spoken of his regret at the sale, saying: "The Crown was hugely important to the Black Sabbath story," he says. "It was where we cut our musical teeth as a blues band." Iommi continues, "The Crown is also one of the grand old buildings of Birmingham. It may have seen better days, but I would have thought it was important for the city to preserve the heritage that is all too quickly disappearing from our streets. "It is a matter of concern, too, that music pubs are getting thin on the ground. Back in the 60s and 70s these were the places where today's big groups started out. Where are the opportunities for new bands to get their act together?" Jim Simpson, Sabbath's first manager, says: "The Crown was the birthplace of the band, where Ozzy Osbourne faced a crowd for the first time."

Def Leppard Have 15 Songs For New Album

(Classic Rock) Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen has confirmed the band's next studio outing will be an album rather than an EP. The change of plans comes after an incredibly successful songwriting session at frontman Joe Elliott's studio in Ireland - and the experience was fuelled by a vegan diet. Collen reports: "I just got back from a very productive and creative Def Leppard session in Dublin. We got about 15 songs started. What we thought was going to be an EP has now definitely turned into an album of new Def Leppard material. "The whole time we were there, the incredible gourmet chef Jeni Cook put the band on a raw vegan food diet - no, it's not just lettuce. We were treated to some of the tastiest foods I've ever had in my entire life."

Slash Streaming New Single 'World On Fire'

(hennemusic) Slash featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, has revealed a full length stream of his new single and title track to his forthcoming album "World On Fire". Due September 16, the new album was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette. The guitarist's third solo album is the follow-up to 2012's "Apocalyptic Love", which earned the guitarist his two first-ever No. 1 US rock radio hits: "You're A Lie" and "Standing In The Sun". Slash and the band will be on the road this summer across North America with Aerosmith for the Let Rock Rule tour, with dates starting July 10 in Wantagh, New York.

Smashing Pumpkins Lose A Member

(Classic Rock) Smashing Pumpkins mainman Billy Corgan has confirmed drummer Mike Byrne is no longer part of the band. The 24-year-old appeared on 2009's Teargarden by Kaleidyscope at the age of 19, and then 2012 follow-up Oceania. Corgan recently announced the launch of two albums next year, then revealed that Motley Crue's Tommy Lee had recorded all the tracks on one of them. Now he tells Music Radar: "Let's just say that Mike, like Elvis, has left the building. Tommy Lee is the drummer on Monuments To An Elegy." He hints that he felt the need for change after Oceania, saying: "It's still about excitement, right? So what is my version of 'excitement' at this point in my life? I don't think it's that same old formula - I don't see where people would listen to it."

Avengers Star Lands Role as Hank Williams in Biopic

(Gibson) London-born actor Tom Hiddleston is set to play the most iconic American country singer of all time, Hank Williams, in an upcoming biopic. Hiddleston is best known for portraying the supervillain Loki in The Avengers. According to Deadline, Hiddleston will not just learn Williams' Alabama accent but master his music too. And unlike Andre 3000's recent turn as Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side, producers have secured the rights to several legendary Williams songs, including "Your Cheatin' Heart," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," and "Hey Good Lookin'." Titled I Saw The Light, the movie is based on Colin Escott, George Merritt and William MacEwen's 1994 book, Hank Williams: The Biography. Director Marc Abraham adapted the screenplay himself and he aims to begin shooting in Louisiana in October 2014. Hiddleston Tweeted a photo of June 12 with the simple message: I saw the light. See it here.

Judas Priest Streaming New Song Dragonaut

(hennemusic) After teasing fans with a short preview, Judas Priest are now streaming "Dragonaut", one of the tracks found on their forthcoming album, "Redeemer Of Souls." Due July 8 in North America, "Redeemer Of Souls" will be issued in a standard version and a deluxe edition with five bonus tracks. Here is what the band had to say about the song stream: "Dragonaut is a great opening track, you know," says bassist Ian Hill. "It's a heavy one, for sure," adds drummer Scott Travis, "so we're proud of that. It's a great way to introduce people to the new Priest record."

Yes Preview New Song 'Believe Again'

(Prog) Yes have launched a 90-second clip of Believe Again, the lead track from Heaven & Earth - their first album with Jon Davison. It's set for launch on July 21 in the UK, July 18 in Europe and July 22 in North America. The eight-track album - the band's 21st studio outing - is described as a continuation of their classic prog sound, but also featuring a "timelessly fresh and innovative" edge. Davison recently revealed recording work had been finished with just days to spare before they left for another tour, saying: "We were doubling up in the studio. Chris Squire and I were working on background vocals and Steve Howe was finishing guitars. Geoff Downes was in Wales, Alan White was in Seattle and they were both sending tracks." But he added that the band were left with more material than they needed, and some of it could appear in a future release.

The Temperance Movement Hope To Meet Rolling Stones During Tour

(Classic Rock) The Temperance Movement are nearing the end of their European tour with the Rolling Stones - but they've never been given the chance to speak to Mick Jagger and co. That hasn't ruined the rising-star blues-rockers' experience of playing their biggest shows ever during the summer. Speaking to TeamRock Radio ahead of their Download appearance on Friday, bassist Nick Fyfe said: "It came up so quick. It sort of blindsided us, and suddenly it was happening. We've played some amazing venues in front of a lot of people." And he lives in hope of shaking the Stones' hands: "I think they've penciled in a window to meet up with them on the last show," he says. "We've had glimpses of them. It's been amazing - a real honor."