Classic Rock News

SINGER/SONGWRITER JJ CALE DEAD AT 74

Musician JJ Cale, best known for composing two of Eric Clapton’s most well-known songs, “Cocaine” and “After Midnight,” died Friday at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA after suffering a heart attack. Born December 5, 1938 in Oklahoma City and raised in Tulsa, Cale kicked off his career performing in Tulsa’s club scene along with Leon Russell before the two moved to Los Angeles in 1964. The following year he recorded his original version of “After Midnight,” but didn’t release his debut album Naturally until 1971. The album also featured his original versions of “Call Me the Breeze” and “Clyde,” later made hits by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Waylon Jennings, respectively.

WATERS CRITICIZED FOR DISPLAYING STAR OF DAVID ON FLYING PIG

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has come under attack for his use of the Jewish Star of David and various fascist symbols emblazoned on a pig-shaped balloon during a concert last Thursday in Belgium, with one prominent Rabbi labeling him “an open hater of Jews.” One Jewish fan in attendance said afterwards, “I had a lot of fun, until I noticed the Star of David on the inflatable pig. Waters crossed the line and gave expression to an anti-Semitic message, beyond all his messages of anti-militancy.” Meanwhile, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center called it a “grotesque display of Jew-hatred,” adding, “With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters is an open hater of Jews.”

BRUCE GIG IN LEEDS LEADS TO CREW TRUCKS BEING TICKETED

New Jersey icon Bruce Springsteen was given the honor of being the first artist to perform at the brand new arena in Leeds, England last week, but that didn’t stop local authorities from issuing parking tickets to several trucks caring the Boss and his E Street Band’s equipment. Not that he couldn’t of afforded paying the fines, but someone on the Leeds City Council caught wind of the parking ticket public relations nightmare and revoked the fines, noting, “It was someone being a little bit stupid and zealous. We accept this is a little embarrassing, but the attendant was doing his job – if a little too efficiently.”

FOGERTY SETS SOLO TOUR DATES, STARTING 10/10 IN L.A.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Fogerty will support his recently released album Wrote a Song for Everyone with a long run of solo concert dates, beginning October 10 in Los Angeles. The 25-show trek will stop in cities such as Denver, Tulsa, Dallas, Tupelo, Tampa, Orlando, Baltimore and Washington, DC before finishing the run with a two-night stand at the Beacon Theater in New York City on November 12 and 13. Prior to setting off on his string of solo shows, Fogerty will play three festival sets; August 31 in Milwaukee, September 7 in Arrington, VA and September 28 in Nashville.

QUEEN’S MAY TO UNDERGO KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

It appears another veteran rock star’s knee is ready to bite the dust as Queen guitarist Brian May has revealed he is on his way to having his “deteriorating” knee replaced. The 66-year old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer announced he has been battling knee issues for some time and has been undergoing physical therapy, but now admits a more aggressive course of action is needed. He tweeted: “My knee is deteriorating in spite of intensive physical therapy. I’m heading for the knee replacement op.”

FORMER FOREIGNER SINGER GRAMM ANNOUNCES SOLO TOUR

Freshly minted Songwriters Hall of Fame member Lou Gramm has announced a string of eight North American tour dates, starting August 9 Navan, Canada. The ex-Foreigner frontman’s brief run of shows includes stops in Massapequa, NY, Upper Sackville, Canada, Monroe, MI, Hanover, MD, Clarkburg, WV, Memphis, and the tour closer in Port Washington, NY on October 11. Gramm, along with former Foreigner bandmate Mick Jones, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last month.

MCKAGAN JOINS SEATTLE SUPERGROUP WALKING PAPERS

Seattle native Duff McKagan has added yet another band to is already impressive resume after joining the new Jet City supergroup Walking Papers along with fellow Seattle all-stars Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees and Jeff Angell of the Missionary Position. McKagan is already a veteran of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, and fronts his own band Loaded. McKagan’s involvement in Walking Papers was far from planned, as he told Billboard, “When Jeff and Barrett started putting some of these (Walking Papers) songs together, Jeff called me and said, ‘Would you come up and play bass on some songs’ and one thing led to another after that…it wasn’t like a pre-planned, ‘We’re gonna put a group together’ thing.” Walking Papers debut single is the slinky “A Place Like This.”

HOMECOMING QUEEN HOPEFUL ASKS NIRVANA TO FILM CAMPAIGN VIDEO

Lots of people have either read or heard the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers,” but assuming a recent rather bizarre request sent to Seattle-based Sub Pop Records is not a prank, one Virginia Tech Homecoming Queen candidate may be a lover of Nirvana but completely clueless to the fact that singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide 19 years ago. Last week, Sub Pop posted a message from the Homecoming Queen wannabe asking if Nirvana could record a video and simply say, “What’s up Virginia Tech? This is Nirvana! Just wanted to wish you guys a Happy Homecoming Week and good luck at the game this Saturday. LET’S GO KOKIES!” Sub Pop decided to grant the college student’s request by dressing up some staffers to look like Nirvana, and recorded the message she’d asked for, which they then sent back as a video.

SINGER/SONGWRITER KAPLAN DIGS UP A GEM IN SPARKLE AND SHINE

Having already sold stacks of discs and countless concert tickets in Europe for over a decade, American singer/songwriter Jonny Kaplan along with his band the Lazy Stars will deliver his initial US release Sparkle and Shine on October 8. The record's title track is a straight ahead bluesy rocker reminiscent of the best the Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, Tom Petty, Gram Parsons or The Band have to offer. Ahead of the release of his stateside debut disc, Kaplan says, “It seems as if we’ve been soaring just under the radar in the U.S. for years. Luckily for me, traveling and singing my songs for people are my two favorite things to do. There’s nothing bad about this life.”

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