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Def Leppard's Joe Elliott Says Band Is "About Halfway" Finished with Next Album
Classic KFMC Rock News

For Nov. 20 , 2014

It's been more than six years since Def Leppard released its last studio album, 2008's Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, but frontman Joe Elliott says the band is well on its way to finishing a new record. Speaking at the recent Classic Rock Roll of Honour ceremony, Elliott revealed that the veteran British group is "about halfway through" with the album.

"With a bit of luck, we should have it done by springtime," he told ABC News Radio, pointing out that he would be getting back to work on the project this month.

Elliott said Def Leppard has written 15 songs for the album, and doesn't think he and his band mates will write any more for it, since "we're kinda happy with the [ones] we've got."

He added, "It's a good record…It's the kind of record that we should be making at this stage of our career. And that's about as much as I'm going to say about it."

Elliott performed with the star-studded supergroup Kings of Chaos at the 2014 Classic Rock Roll of Honour, but he told ABC News Radio that he won't be joining the band when it heads to South Africa for three concerts in late November and early December. He explained that the trek overlaps with a December U.K. tour he has lined up with his Down 'n' Outz side project.

"I can't do both," he insisted. "I've tried. Doesn't work."

Down 'n' Outz pays homage to the music of Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter and other 1970s glam-rock acts.

In other Def Leppard news, guitarist Vivian Campbell recently underwent a stem cell transplant as he continues to battle lymphoma. Last week, he posted a message on his Facebook page announcing that he'd returned home from the hospital.

"So glad that's over," he wrote. "Time to recover/recuperate and grow some hair…Thanks for all the love you've sent -- much appreciated!...Normal service will be resumed shortly."


The U.K.'s Download Festival has added KISS, Slash, Motley Crue and Enter Shikari to its 2015 lineup. The new additions will play on the festival's third and final day, June 14. They join previously announced bands Muse, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Judas Priest, among others.

The complete Download Festival 2015 lineup has yet to be revealed, but you can view the initial lineups on the official festival website.

Tickets for Download Festival 2015, which takes place June 12-14, will go on sale November 20.

The Download Festival has been held in Donington Park in Leicestershire, England since 2003. The 2014 lineup included Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park and Aerosmith.

Bono Underwent Five Hours of Surgery to Repair Cycling Accident Injuries

Turns out that “cycling spill” Bono took last Sunday in New York’s Central Park was a bit more serious than initially revealed. The U2 frontman underwent more than five hours of surgery over two days to repair multiple, serious injuries.

According to a statement from the trauma surgeon who operated on Bono at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Hospital for Special Surgery, which was provided to Rolling Stone, Bono underwent immediate surgery Sunday to repair his left humerus -- that’s the upper arm bone -- which had reportedly broken in six places and was “driven through his skin.” Bono also broke his left shoulder blade in three places.

Those injuries required three metal places and 18 screws to repair in five total hours of surgery Sunday. Monday, Bono underwent additional surgery to repair his fractured left pinky finger. He also fractured his left eye socket.

The statement notes Bono was involved in a “high-energy bicycle accident when he attempted to avoid another rider.” There’s no word on the other rider’s condition. As for Bono, the statement concludes he “will require intensive and progressive therapy, however a full recovery is expected.”

U2 was forced to cancel this week's planned residency on The Tonight Show because of the accident.

Last month, Aerosmith's Joe Perry released a memoir titled Rocks that delves into his life story and the many ups and downs he went through as a member of one of America's greatest rock bands. The book reveals plenty of details about the various conflicts that arose over the years between the lauded guitarist, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and his other band mates.

Without going into too many specifics, Perry tells ABC News Radio that most of his fellow Aerosmith members have read at least part of the book, adding that their reactions were "pretty much what I expected."

"One of them said that they really liked it, and another one said, you know, thanks for telling the truth," notes Perry. "And Steven got about halfway through it, I guess, and texted me and said…that he dug the first half that he had read, and also liked the quality of the book and the pictures that I picked and all that stuff."

Perry says working on the book was a very emotional experience, especially when he had to recall such incidents as the death of family members and his divorce from his first wife.

"I didn't think that it was going to be as hard as it was," he admits. "But, you know, I had [my current wife] Billie's support and I knew I had to put that stuff in there if the book was going to…have some teeth, and so people could maybe learn something from what I went through."

The 64-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says one of his goals in writing Rocks "was to make it so that you didn't have to be a rock 'n' roll fan to get something out of the book."

He points out that some people who read the book, and who weren't musicians, have commented to him that "they've suffered through the same kind of rejection, bumping into walls and how do you get over it, and all that stuff." Joe adds, "[T]here's a lot about human nature that had to go into the book to make it a piece of literature and not just a journal."

Perry also shared one of the main highlights of his life that occurred because of he was a member of Aerosmith.

"I got to meet Chuck Berry and play with him on stage at his 80th birthday," says Joe. "[H]e's probably my biggest influence in the early days, and as a guitar player and as a songwriter."

Perry also explains to ABC News Radio that although he and Tyler have had a contentious relationship for decades, as exemplified by so many stories that appear in Rocks, their bond as friends has remained stronger than their differences.

As an example, he recalls a fun day that he and Steven spent motoring off the coast of Maui in superpowered aquatic vehicles Tyler had bought.

"Those are the kind of [incidents] where our brotherhood could be mistaken for blood brother," Perry maintains. "And in a lot of ways we are, in spite of some of the things that have gone on between us. It's still there, you know? And that stuff will never go away."

New Todd Rundgren Box Set Features UK TV and Radio Performances from the 1970s and '80s

A new box set offers Todd Rundgren fans a bounty of live material originally recorded for British radio and television. Todd Rundgren: At the BBC features three CDs and a DVD documenting the singer/songwriter's performances for the U.K. broadcasting company as a solo artist and with his group Utopia spanning the years 1972 through 1982.

The collection's CDs include audio from a July 1972 Rundgren show at London's Paris Theatre, an October 1975 appearance by Utopia from the BBC TV program The Old Grey Whistle Test, a performance by the band that same month at London's Hammersmith Odeon and a January 1978 gig from Oxford Polytechnic in Oxford, U.K.

The DVD features video from three separate Old Grey Whistle Test shows, Utopia appearances in October 1975 and May 1978, and a Rundgren solo special that aired in June 1982.

Among the memorable songs included in the set are "I Saw the Light," "Hello It's Me," "Open My Eyes," "A Dream Goes On Forever" and a cover of the classic Move and Electric Light Orchestra tune "Do Ya."

The box set features 30 previously unreleased tracks, including two songs from Rundgren's 1982 Old Grey Whistle Test special that never aired. All of the audio and video were remastered from the BBC's original master tapes. The discs are housed in a clamshell box and the set also features an illustrated booklet.

Todd Rundgren: At the BBC is available now in the U.K. and, according to, will be released in the U.S. on December 2. For a full details about the box set, including a complete track list, visit

Fallon Covers U2's Absence on Tonight Show with Jokes and an Impersonation

Bono’s cycling accident in New York City over the weekend forced U2 to cancel its week-long residency on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but the talk show host did his best to cover for the band on Monday.

Fallon teamed up with his house band, The Roots, and did an impersonation of Bono singing the U2 hit "Desire."

Before the musical performance, Fallon noted Bono’s recent streak of bad luck included the cycling accident that requires surgery and a door blowing off his private jet while traveling to Germany last week. Fallon referenced Bono’s absence by joking that the singer “cheated death twice so why tempt fate a third time by coming on our show.”

Metallica Kicks Off Late Late Show Residency with Embarrassing Story and a Performance

Metallica kicked off a week-long residency on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Monday, in honor of host Craig Ferguson, who will be leaving the late-night show December 19.

The band is marking the 10-year anniversary reissue of its behind-the-scenes documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Metallica's lead singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich chatted with Ferguson about the documentary and an embarrassing incident for Ulrich.

After telling Ferguson he was a big fan of the English rock band Motörhead, Ulrich recalled how a picture taken of him after vomiting on himself wound up on the inner sleeve of a Motörhead album.

"[Motörhead frontman] Lemmy [Kilmister] came to town," Ulrich remembers, "and I was pretty nervous, so [I drank] a couple of shots of straight vodka.....So I tried that outside of Lemmy's hotel, walked in and a couple of hours later I woke up and I'd been photographed and it ended up on the inner sleeve of the next Motörhead album."

Ulrich also told Ferguson about the troubles documentary producers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky encountered when they attempted to film the band recording their 2003 album, St Anger.

"They came up to San Francisco to film the process of us making a new record," Ulrich recalled. "And then over the course of the next few months, one breakdown after another breakdown occurred."

Hetfield and Ulrich were later joined by lead guitarist Kirk Hammet and bassist Robert Trujillo to perform "Hit the Lights."


AC/DC’s new album, Rock or Bust, hits retailers in two weeks, but the band’s whetting our appetite by releasing the second track from the album in less than a week.

“Rock or Bust,” the title track from the forthcoming project, was released today, and also posted to the band’s VEVO channel on YouTube. That follows on the heels of the video for “Play Ball,” which AC/DC released November 11. Both tracks are available for immediate download if you order Rock or Bust now.

Rock or Bust is AC/DC’s first studio album since 2008’s Black Ice, and the first in their 41-year history not to feature guitarist Malcolm Young, who’s retired from the band because of dementia. Stevie Young -- Malcolm and brother Angus Young’s nephew -- stands in for his uncle.


Chris Martin, Bono, Roger Taylor & More Are Recording New Band Aid Single Saturday

Some of Britain's biggest music acts are checking their egos at the door Saturday: that's when they're all getting together to record a new version of the legendary Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" The song, which was released 30 years ago this month to fight famine in Africa, is getting new lyrics to make it relevant to the Ebola crisis on that continent.

U2's Bono, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and Roger Taylor of Queen are among the stars participating. Adele, Sam Smith, One Direction, Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sande and Sinead O'Connor round out the lineup.

The rock band Foals was amongst the announced participants, however a spokesperson for the band told NME that the band will not take part, citing a scheduling conflict.

Bono is the only one participating who was featured on the original version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Musician Midge Ure, who co-wrote the original song with Irish rocker Bob Geldof and is also working on the new version, tells Rolling Stone that when the song becomes available on Monday, you'll have to either buy it as a 99-cent download, or wait three weeks and purchase a CD version. Streaming music services will not have access to it until after the new year.

Noting the fact that this is an effort to raise money, Ure says, "All we can do is hope that Ed Sheeran and One Direction and everyone else plead with the fans not to stream this, not to download this for free."

"These kids know this song because they've heard it blasting out of radios every Christmas since they were born. What they now have to learn is why the song was done in the first place and why it's being done this time -- for slightly different but equally valid reasons," he adds.

For more information, visit


Rush's Geddy Lee Talks Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Van Halen, and What Neil Peart Smells Like

Ever wondered what one of rock's most legendary drummers smells like? Using the hashtag #AskGeddyLee, Rush lead singer/bassist Geddy Lee answered a variety of questions from fans, touching on everything from the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, to even what drummer Neil Peart smells like. The Twitter Q&A was moderated by Rolling Stone.

In response to a question about his reaction to being inducted into the Rock Hall, Lee said he felt "shock and gooseflesh."

"That whole moment was quite something. I think we were very taken aback by it," he continued. "We were overwhelmed by that whole beginning of the night. It's indescribable and a moment that I'll never forget."

Now a voting member of the Rock Hall, Lee said he hasn't yet seen the new batch of nominees, which included Green Day, Lou Reed and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, but he does know that two of his favorite bands aren't on the list.

"I'm disappointed that Yes and Deep Purple did not get in," he said. "It's just wrong."

Lee also addressed the rumor that Eddie Van Halen once poured beer into one of his tape recorders. "Oh, that's an interesting memory," Lee said. "We were at a hotel bar in Leicester and one of the guys in our road crew had his beat box playing. And the guys in Van Halen were a little inebriated and we were on our way to getting inebriated. So I think some beer was spilt, yes."

As for whether he prefers his Van Halen fronted by David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar, Lee had a simple answer: "I don't listen to either."

As for the question about Peart -- "How bad does Neil smell after a concert?" -- unfortunately, we'll have to go on wondering. "I wouldn't know because [Peart] leaves straight onto his bus," Geddy said. "I haven't seen him after a show in years."

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