|Sammy Hagar has an Acoustic Record on the Way
|Classic KFMC Rock News|
For Sept. 17,2014
Sammy Hagar is a busy man -- so busy, he says, he doesn't have time right now to focus on one of his most popular music projects, the supergroup Chickenfoot.
"We're not making an album [now]," the Red Rocker tells ABC News Radio when asked about a follow-up to 2011's Chickenfoot III. "[Guitarist] Joe [Satriani] and I are writing songs a little bit…We had a couple ideas, and Joe's got some fantastic musical ideas, and I'm just trying to find room in my life to do another Chickenfoot album."
Hagar explains that if he commits to doing a new Chickenfoot record, the band also would have to tour behind it, "and to do all of that, that's a year or more of my time. And I just…love doing new things and I'm doing so much."
Among those "new things" is the group Sammy put together for his recent "A Journey Through the History of Rock" trek, which includes Chickenfoot/ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Led Zeppelin drummer Jason Bonham, and Wabos guitarist Vic Johnson. The band will be playing next at Hagar's four-show Birthday Bash in October at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
The 66-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also reveals that he has a new album on the way, an acoustic record he says he was inspired to do while putting together the star-studded Acoustic-4-a-Cure benefit concert earlier this year with Metallica's James Hetfield.
"Working up that set for myself, I learned how to play and sing acoustically, and I loved it so much I just took a bunch of my old songs and made a record called Light Roast," he tells ABC News Radio. "It's an acoustically-brewed CD."
About reworking the well-known songs from his back catalog as unplugged tunes, Sammy says, "Some of them I think are better than they've ever been like this." The veteran rocker adds, however, that he has no intentions of doing an acoustic tour to support the album.
"You know, everyone says, 'Well, why don't you go out, just play like coffeehouses?'" says Hagar. "Well, I'd love to but, you know, I'm busy."
Hagar's next shows will be the aforementioned Birthday Bash performances, scheduled for October 7, 9, 11 and 13.
It's been a pretty gigantic year for Joan Jett. In April, Jett appeared onstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards ceremony, standing in for the late Kurt Cobain to play "Smells Like Teen Spirit" during Nirvana's performance. At the end of the same month, Jett made history by being the only female recipient of Revolver's Golden God award for "embody[ing] the spirit of hard rock and metal."
In July, Jett received the Alternative Press' Icon Award, and just last week news broke that Jett will be honored at this year's Little Kids Rock gala for being "an originator, an innovator and a visionary."
Jett says she's grateful for all the accolades, but when asked by ABC News Radio what she thinks is responsible for her longevity, she couldn't come up with any message or mission.
Jett thinks her popularity is due to fans recognizing that she's doing what she loves. "I wanna play rock and roll, I think girls should be able to do that, and that was [my] initial thought," she says. "Why are people still into it? Maybe because it's genuine, and it's really about the connection between myself and the audience, and [giving] people a release for that bit of time, [so] they can just really enjoy it and not worry about the world for a minute."
"Beyond that, I can't tell you," Jett claims. "Maybe there's an authenticity they sense? That I'm not into it for the money or the fame, particularly, though if those things come that's great. But you're into it for the music and the community and the connection, and how even though we're all so different, we're all so the same." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)
The Little Kids Rock gala event honoring Jett and others will be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 23. Ticket info can be found at LittleKidsRock.org.
Randy Bachman recently released a new concert CD/DVD called Every Song Tells a Story that features the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive rocker looking back at the famous songs from his long and successful career. Now, however, the 70-year-old Canadian star says he's looking ahead to a brand-new project that will feature fresh original tunes, a bunch of well-known guest guitarists and a new backing band.
Bachman tells ABC News that he's recording a new blues album that he's planning to call Heavy Blues, which he expects to release in March 2015. Among the stars he's tapped to contribute to the record are his old pal Neil Young, Peter Frampton, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, contemporary blues whiz Joe Bonamassa and Scott Holiday from the modern-rock act Rival Sons. In addition, Randy reveals that the release will include a live collaboration between him and the late Jeff Healey that Healey's wife gave to him.
Bachman reports, "I've already mixed half the album, which will include 12 songs." He adds, "It absolutely blows me away."
The singer/guitarist says one of his main inspirations for the album was Young, who made a suggestion when Randy told him he had signed a new worldwide record deal that would allow him to do anything he wanted.
"He said, 'Take some advice. Don't do the same old crap and call it something new,'" Bachman recalls. "I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'Don't do the same thing and say it's a new album…Stop, get out of the box, do something fearless, be fierce, be ferocious, reinvent yourself.' And I go, 'OK, great advice.'"
Randy tells ABC News Radio that he then set about finding new musicians to back him, and initially considered recording with just a drummer, like The White Stripes or The Black Keys. Inevitably, though, he decided to include a bassist too. He eventually settled on two very talented Canadian female musicians, drummer Dale Anne Brendon and bassist Anna Ruddick.
"They are just amazing," gushes Bachman. "And at times we sound like The Who and we sound like Cream live and we sound like [Led] Zeppelin. And at times it sounds like me, and when they redo my old songs like 'American Woman' and 'Takin' Care of Business' it's a whole new life, because it's a whole new rhythm section."
The album is being produced by Kevin Shirley, whose resume includes releases by Journey, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden and Bonamassa, among many others. Randy says Shirley encouraged him to write new songs for the project rather than redo some blues standards.
"He said, 'They've all been redone,'" notes Bachman. "You're a great songwriter. Take old templates and rewrite them and change them and make something new."
Bachman tells ABC News Radio that he's very excited to hit the road with his new group and new set of songs come 2015. First up, though, is a Canadian fall tour with his current band that launches on October 14 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Bryan Adams is releasing a new album of cover songs, Tracks of My Years, on September 30. But later this year, he'll be taking a stroll through his own past when he releases a special 30th anniversary edition of his breakthrough 1984 album Reckless. And this time around, says the Canadian singer, "it's got everything."
Adams tells ABC News Radio, "Thirty years ago we were putting together this album and here we are 30 years later and I just finished repackaging it again." Originally released on November 5, 1984 -- Bryan's 25th birthday -- Reckless was a massive success, spinning off six singles: "Run to You," "Somebody," "Heaven," "Summer of '69," "One Night Love Affair" and "It's Only Love." But according to Adams, the album we all know and love was only part of the story.
"This time it's got six tracks on it which were supposed to be recorded for the record which [weren't]," he explains. "And I left them in their original demo form and [I'm] just gonna put them out because I think it tells a story. Reckless was incomplete without these other songs."
If those songs were so important, though, why didn't Bryan put them on the original version of the record? Because he literally wasn't able to.
"Back in 1984 you could only put a certain amount of music on a CD because technology wasn't advanced enough that you could put 16 songs on it," he explains. "[There] just wasn't the capability. So a lot of songs never got recorded, and a lot of songs got left off, because they just didn't fit on the record. And so now, this new record that's coming out...it's got everything."
Well, almost everything. There's another song he recorded around that time that came out as a B-side that by all rights belongs on Reckless, but Adams says he's purposely leaving it off. The song is "Diana," and it's about Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in 1997. Specifically, it's about him playfully inviting her to dump Prince Charles and run away with him. But Bryan says he can't, in good conscience, include it.
"I love that song a lot but in respect to Diana, I'm not putting it out because it's making fun," he tells ABC News Radio. "And I think I have to respect what's happened, and so I'm not gonna cash in on that at all."
No word yet on the exact release date of the Reckless reissue.
Keith Richards Says His Grandfather "Teased" Him into Playing the Guitar
Keith Richards stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night to promote his new children's book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar.
The 70-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist told Fallon his grandfather "teased" him into playing the guitar by keeping one high and out of Keith's reach, telling him that if he wanted to play it, he'd have to get it.
Richards told Fallon, "One day I was standing there in grandpa's parlor with the guitar in my hand and he said, 'How did you get that?'" Keith recalls when he told his grandpa he used chairs and a book to reach the guitar, his grandpa replied, "'If you need it that much, let's start learning a few things.'"
During the interview, Richards also recalled the circumstances surrounding the first song he and Mick Jagger wrote. The guitarist said the Stone's manager at the time, Andrew Loog Oldham, told them they needed to start writing their own songs and locked the two in a kitchen until they came up with one.
"After 36 hours, and the kitchen was very barely stocked, so...we're getting hungry and thirsty...Eventually we came out with 'As Tears Go By,'" Richards recalled.
The Stones guitarist also told Fallon the story of when his idol, rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry, punched him out backstage after one of Berry's concerts.
"His guitar was laid out in its case [and I said to myself] 'come on Keith, just a touch. Just let me give it an E chord.' [Berry] walks in and goes, 'nobody touches my guitar.'" Keith said Berry then socked him. Richards ended the story by declaring, "And that's one of Chuck's biggest hits, baby."
Richards' new children's book features illustrations by his daughter, Theodora, 29, who was in the studio audience. Fallon invited her onstage, where she presented the Tonight Show host with a drawing she sketched of him and Richards during the interview.
Richards also revealed that he's just finished recording a solo album, but he doesn't want to release it until the Rolling Stones finish up their current business.
In case you missed The Who rocking out on the star-studded Stand Up to Cancer special, which aired Friday on a wide variety of television networks, the performance has made its way onto YouTube for your viewing pleasure. The entire event also is streaming on demand at Hulu.com and Yahoo.com.
The band's appearance, which was taped earlier last week in London, featured a medley of an abbreviated version of "Baba O'Riley" and the Tommy anthem "See Me, Feel Me/Listening to You."
The Who was augmented by a group of backing singers more than a dozen strong. During the British rock legends' performance, a video screen behind the stage flashed the logo for Teen Cancer America, the charity co-founded by singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend that supports the creation of programs and facilities that focus on the needs of young people who are battling the disease.
As of Sunday, more than $109 million had been pledged in connection with the Stand Up to Cancer telecasts in the U.S. and Canada. You can still donate to the cause by visiting SU2C.org and by calling 1-888-90-STAND.