REMASTERED, EXPANDED FIRST 3 LED ZEPPELIN ALBUMS DUE JUNE 3
The first batch of a whole lotta Led Zeppelin reissues will arrive June 3, starting with remastered and expanded editions of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s first three studio albums, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III. Personally remastered by Jimmy Page, each of the reissued albums will come with a bonus disc of previously unreleased companion audio, and will be available in multiple CD, vinyl and digital formats, in addition to a limited edition super deluxe box set. Eventually, all nine of the group’s studio albums will be reissued in chronological order. In more Led Zep related news, Page will receive an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Berklee College of Music at a ceremony on May 10 at Boston University.
SIMMONS ONCE CONVINCED EDDIE VAN HALEN NOT TO JOIN KISS
The history of rock and roll could have been radically different if Kiss bassist/singer Gene Simmons hadn’t successfully talked Eddie Van Halen out of his desire to leave Van Halen and join Kiss. In an interview with Guitar World, Simmons said, “He [Van Halen] was so unhappy about how he and [David Lee] Roth were – or weren’t – getting along. He couldn’t stand him. Eddie said, ‘I want to join Kiss. I don’t want to fight anymore with Roth.’ But I told him, ‘Eddie, there’s not enough room. You need to be in a band where you can direct the music. You’re not going to be happy in Kiss.’ I talked him out of it. It didn’t fit.”
QUEEN LEAVES DOOR OPEN TO RECORDING NEW SONGS WITH LAMBERT
During a recent interview, Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor were asked if they would consider recording new material with their latest lead singer Adam Lambert for an album that would include recently unearthed recordings featuring Freddie Mercury. Careful to not tip his hand, May replied, “Well, you know, anything is possible.” Taylor didn’t totally commit to the idea either, adding, “It’s logical; it’s a very logical thing to do, so why not? I don’t know.” May doubled down on his vagueness, chiming in with, “You never know. You never know.”
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE ISSUES HENDRIX STAMP
The U.S. Postal Service Thursday unveiled its Jimi Hendrix “Forever” stamp featuring colorful psychedelic artwork by artist Rudy Gutierrez. The stamp shows the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist playing his ever-present Stratocaster and wearing his trademark military jacket. Reacting to the honor, the guitarist’s sister and Hendrix family representative Janie Hendrix told USA Today, “The honor of the stamp really comes from the lost art of letter-writing. While Jimi was in the Army, he wrote these wonderful postcards and letters to my dad. There’s something about handwriting a letter that gives a sense of intimacy.”
YOUNG DISCUSSES DETAILS SURROUNDING UPCOMING COVERS ALBUM
The always interesting Neil Young made news earlier this week with the introduction of his high-tech PonoMusic player and store, but his next studio album will be a very low-tech collection of covers called A Letter Home. Produced by low-fi recording technic aficionado Jack White, Young describes the record as “like a time capsule. It doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard that was made recently. And some great songs, some beautiful music… They’re songs that I love, songs that changed my life…songs by great writers.” Young predicts A Letter Home could be delivered sometime this spring.
DEEP PURPLE PULL OUT CALIFORNIA JAM GIG FOR CD, DIGITAL RELEASE
April 6 will mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary California Jam all-day festival featuring historic performances from Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Black Oak Arkansas, The Eagles, Rare Earth, Earth, Wind & Fire and Seals and Crofts. On April 1, Deep Purple will commemorate the date with the release of Live in California ’74, a collection of classic cuts culled from the band’s California Jam set. Highlights include “Burn,” “Space Truckin’” and “Smoke on the Water.”