Classic Rock News

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

ORIGINAL YES GUITARIST PETER BANKS DEAD AT 65

Guitarist Peter Banks, who along with bassist Chris Squire formed Yes in 1968, died last Thursday at his home in London from heart failure. He was 65. Banks and Squire had been bandmates in The Syn before they recruited vocalist Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye to round out Yes. Banks played on the first two Yes albums, 1969’s Yes and 1970’s Time and a Word, but disagreements on the more orchestral direction of the band led to Banks leaving just after the release of the album. The current lineup of Yes issued the flowing statement: “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks. He was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is and our thoughts, sincere condolences and prayers are with him and his family. Peter, we shall miss you greatly.”

 

JON ANDERSON REACTS TO BANKS PASSING

Former Yes frontman Jon Anderson paid tribute to Peter Banks, saying, “I will miss him.” Anderson added, “Peter was in good spirits the last couple of times we spoke, even though he had been in bad health of late, but always joking and still ready to create music.” In addition, Anderson confirmed it was Banks who suggested the band’s name, saying, “It is true, he is the one who said: ‘Yes, we should call the band Yes.’ Bless him…a sweet guy…and a wild guitar player.”

VAN HALEN MANAGER SAYS EUROPEAN TOUR IS PURE FICTION

Okay, Van Halen conspiracy theorists, you can officially crawl back outside your basements. One day after loads of news outlets reported frontman David Lee Roth had announced the band would perform “50, 60 shows” across Europe late this year, the band’s manager says the band will do no such thing. Irving Azoff, who manages Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen, but not Roth, told Billboard, “All the announced dates, which include the date in Australia, the dates in Japan and a date in Wisconsin, are confirmed and on sale and those are real. I manage the Van Halens, and I know nothing about any European tour.”

NICKS DOCUMENTARY IN YOUR DREAMS COMING TO THEATERS APRIL 2

The highly acclaimed Stevie Nicks documentary, In Your Dreams, is slated to screen in over 50 theaters across North America on April 2. The film focuses on the longtime Fleetwood Mac member writing and recording her solo album, In Your Dreams, with collaborator Dave Stewart. Tickets and more information are available at Inyourdreamsmovie.com. Finally, a special red carpet screening of In Your Dreams will take place tomorrow at the SXSW music and media conference in Austin, TX.

EAGLES DOCUMENTARY HISTORY OF THE EAGLES DUE ON DVD APRIL 30

The Showtime documentary recounting the rocky relationships as well as the soaring success of the Eagles will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 30. The home edition of the aptly titled History of the Eagles will include a third disc containing the band’s concert in Landover, MD in 1977. A super deluxe edition comes with an additional 40-page photo book, added photography and a lithograph of the group’s trademark skull logo.

JOURNEY PLANS TO MARK 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH BIG HOMETOWN GIG

Although we may have heard the last of Journey on album, the San Francisco-bred band is planning to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a huge hometown tribute concert at AT&T Park, home of the defending World Series Champion Giants. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain told Billboard, “I can’t really say much right now, but if we can get that to happen, that would be” a tribute not just to the band, but to the late legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. Cain adds, “Bill really was a big supporter of Journey…” Asked if former members might join in the celebration, Cain said without naming names “that could be…”

TYLER PLEASED WITH PASSAGE OF HAWAII PRIVACY BILL

The always uninhibited Steven Tyler has opened up about the passage of Hawaii’s so-called Steven Tyler Act, which protects the privacy of vacationing celebrities from prying lenses. The Aerosmith frontman, who owns a home on Maui, told Billboard, “They (photographers) chase my kids and get in the way of traffic. They’re just looking for a taste of blood. They’re not gonna get it.” Asked how he plans to exercise his expanded privacy, Tyler said, “Now at least (bandmate) Joe (Perry) and I can go to Maui and walk around naked in the back lawn and write some crazy songs.”

DICKINSON INTRODUCES DRINKERS TO IRON MAIDEN TROOPER BEER

Nothing goes hand-in-hand with loud rock music better than an ice cold beer, so Iron Maiden, one of the loudest band’s in the world, is trying their hand at brewing their own Trooper Ale. In a new video, frontman Bruce Dickinson takes fans to the UK’s Robinsons Brewery for a behind-the-scenes look at how the band’s branded beer is brewed. He said, “I’m a lifelong fan of traditional English ale; I thought I’d done and gone to heaven when we were asked to create our own beer.”

STAR OF METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER MOVIE DETAILS PLOT

One of the stars of the upcoming Metallica 3-D movie, Metallica Through the Never, has offered a brief synopsis of the film’s plot. Dane DeHaan, who plays a roadie, said in a videotaped interview that in the middle of a Metallica concert, he goes “on this trip…for the band and I pretty much literally have to go through hell and back…and all of this is going on during the concert so it all ties together really kid of beautifully and uniquely.” Metallica Through the Never is scheduled to be released on August 9.

JOHNNY RAMONE’S WIDOW WANTS TO SEE RAMONES BIOPIC MADE

The widow of Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone is campaigning to have a biopic about the seminal punk rockers produced. Linda Ramone feels a film about the renowned rock band is still the missing piece that would fully complete their legacy. She recently told Billboard, “I have offers right now to do a Ramones movie, because there hasn’t been one yet. That’s really the only thing left. I will do one no matter what.”

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