Hard Rock News on 05/06/2014

Former Britny Fox Frontman Goes Country On New Single/Video

Former Britny Fox singer Dean Davidson has left his hair metal days far behind on the new country themed song “Wouldn’t Change A Thing”, the first single from the frontman’s upcoming ‘Different Roads’ album.

The Americana/folk/country album ‘Different Roads’ is slated for release on September 1st. “Me as an artist and the stories that make up the new album ‘Different Roads’ are simply about; where each song takes you that you may have experienced in your life,” said Davidson. “I’m not in this at all to be a celebrity. I’m in this because I’m doing what I love and I’m just being me. Just one man, one guitar, sharing his story through a song.”

The new musical direction is far removed from his Britny Fox days, when ‘Dizzy’ Dean Davidson and the band landed a recording contract with Columbia Records and released two MTV hits, “Long Way To Love” and “Girlschool”, which propelled their 1988 self-titled debut album to sales approaching one million copies. Shortly after the release of ‘Boys In Heat’, Davidson left Britny Fox to form Blackeyed Susan, but was without a label deal after the grunge invasion hit in the early ’90s.

The new album title ‘Different Roads’ came about when the first original title, ‘New York City Night’, and song of the same name, were originally included on the singer’s 2007 album ‘Drive My Karma’. “The new album delivers Americana/Folk/Country that’s organic and honest,” says Davidson. “I don’t write songs aiming to be a hit song. I just tell stories through songs — period. When I write the story of my life, I don’t let anyone hold the pen. It’s not about anything flashy. It’s just honest, real and simple.”

 

Scorpions Drummer Seeks Alcohol Treatment After Dubai Jailing

Scorpions Drummer Seeks Alcohol Treatment After Dubai JailingScorpions drummer James Kottak is seeking treatment for alcholism after spending a month in a Duabi jail for insulting Islam earlier this year.

“After years of drinking alcohol, on April 3rd, 2014, my addiction finally caught up with me during a 5-hour flight from Ekaterinburg, Russia to Bahrain via Dubai, during which I consumed 5 or 6 glasses of wine,” says Kottak. “While at the airport in Dubai I approached an airline representative to check on the status of my flight. The representative informed me that I was in the wrong place and I replied “WTF?!.” The representative then called the police and reported that I was intoxicated (which I was) and that I made a lewd jester.”

Eye witness reports at the time of his arrest said Kottak started swearing and talking about “non-educated Muslims”, then flashed his middle finger at Pakistani passengers. Police at the time also said he exposed his behind and was asking people to touch it. A customer service employee at the airport also recalled, “When he saw the Pakistani and Afghan passengers, he covered his nose and said that there was no way he will travel with them.” He added that the drummer then started swearing repeatedly at the arrivals area of Terminal 2. “He wasn’t talking to a person specifically but was talking in general. He was very nervous at the time and talking loudly.”

“One of the police officers recognised me as drummer of ‘The Scorpions'”, Kottak disputes. “When the police asked me to show my ID, I showed them the “Rock & Roll Forever” tattoo on my back, instead of my actual ID which was in my back-pack my friend was carrying for me. Apparently, the police did not find this funny and I was charged with “Drinking Without a License”, for which I pleaded guilty and received a one-month sentence and a 2,000 Dirham (300 USD) fine. I was also charged with insulting Islam/Muslims by making a lewd jester for which I pleaded not guilty and did not actually do.”

“Upon returning to the United States on May 6th, I immediately reached out to Bob Forrest, an addiction specialist known for his work with musicians and Celebrity Rehab,” continues Kottak. “I have been meeting with Bob on a regular basis. He has guided me to the MusiCares Organization, which provides musicians with help for mental health and addiction issues. I am determined to come to grips with my alcoholism and am doing everything on a daily basis to beat this relentless disease. This entire incident caused me to realize that it is time to stop drinking once and for all so that I can become the father, musician, and friend that I know I can be.”

The 51 year old drummer is looking forward to moving on his his life. “I am glad to put this unfortunate incident behind me and move onward and upward with my life. I would like to send out a HUGE thank you to my family, friends and fans around the world for their incredible loving support… you kick ass! I would also like to send a sincere apology from the bottom of my heart to everyone I have affected and look forward to seeing you all!!”

 

The Angels’ Doc Neeson Loses Battle With Cancer At Age 67

Bernard “Doc” Neeson, the frontman of hitmaking Australian rock group the Angels (also known as Angel City and The Angels From Angel City), has died at the age of 67 after a battle with brain cancer, reports the Billboard.

Neeson, the former livewire lead singer of pub rock greats The Angels (also known as Angel City and The Angels From Angel City), passed away peacefully according to a statement released by his friend and publicist Catherine Swinton.

“Doc stood out as one of a kind, a totally unique performer,” said Angels lead guitarist Rick Brewster. “His feverish stage presence was unsurpassed yet beneath the public persona was a gentle soul. He leaves behind a wealth of shared memories. Good times, hard times and the thrill of creating timeless music together.”

At their peak, the Angels was the quintessential Aussie pub-rock band; a group blessed with an arsenal of explosive songs and — with Neeson at the mic — one of the most charismatic singers in the rock business.

Born January 4th, 1949 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Neeson emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia when he was 13. He went on to play with Moonshine Jug and String Band, a group that morphed into the Keystone Angels and later the Angels. His intense gaze and livewire antics at front and center of stage helped established his band as legends in their homeland.

The 1978 album ‘Face To Face’ ignited the Angels’ career, and yielded the hits “Take A Long Line” and “Marseilles”. The album was reissued on vinyl earlier this year, with Neeson remarking at the time, “I don’t think it was accidental that Face To Face was on the charts for 71 weeks while we toured every part of Australia. People checked us out live then heard that same, roaring dynamic captured on top quality analog vinyl. On great vinyl the fans could hear the full quality of sound they had experienced at an Angels concert and that excited them.”

The band’s 1976 song “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” is part of Australia’s rock ‘n’ roll DNA, and is a favorite at any party where beer is served (for reasons no-one can explain, Australians tend to shout-back an expletive filled lyric which doesn’t actually exist in its chorus).

The Angels were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1998. A year later, Neeson suffered a severe spinal injury

Neeson went on to perform with various acts including Doc Neeson’s Angels and Red Phoenix, and there were legal battles with his former bandmates who toured as the Angels. The band members reunited and toured, but he would again leave to pursue a solo career.

In March of this year, Neeson released the single “Walking in the Rain”, originally recorded by Flash and The Pan. It was his first studio recording in nearly seven years. The song, written by the legendary Vanda & Young team, was recorded late last year at Albert Studios in Sydney by ARIA Award winning producer Brendan Gallagher prior to Doc touring the country last November with the RocKwiz Salutes Vanda And Young shows.

Neeson was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 2012 and reportedly spent the Christmas and New Year period of that year in hospital undergoing intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

He is said to have passed away peacefully Wednesday morning.

“He has battled with a brain tumour for the last 17 months and sadly lost his fight this morning,” a note posted on his official Facebook page reads. “He will be deeply missed by his family and partner Annie Souter who would all like to thank everyone for their support through this dark time.”

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Hard Rock and Heavy Metal News on 01/05/2014

Queensryche Ownership Battle Finally Comes To A Conclusion

Scorpions Drummer Sent Jailed In Dubai For Insulting IslamNearly two years after Queensryche fired Geoff Tate, the lawsuit between the singer and his former bandmates has come to an end. According to terms of the settlement Queensrcyhe will continue with singer Todd LaRorre, while Tate will be unable to continue under the Queensryche banner. 

“We wanted to let Queensryche fans around the world know that an amicable settlement has been reached between Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Geoff Tate with regard to the future of the Queensryche name,” said the participants in the lawsuit through a joint statement. “According to the agreement, original Queensryche members Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton along with recent members, Todd LaTorre and Parker Lundgren, will now be the sole entity recording and touring as Queensryche, performing selections from their entire musical catalog that spans over 30 years of material. Original Queensryche lead singer Geoff Tate will continue to record, perform and pursue a variety of other creative endeavors and, as part of the agreement, will have the exclusive rights to perform ‘Operation: Mindcrime I’ and ‘II’ in their entirety as a unique performance. Both sides wish each other well and are excited about what the future holds. We want to thank the fans for standing beside us through this ordeal and look forward to sharing our music with you for years to come.” 

“I think it’s great. I’m very happy that it’s over and done and we can all move on with our lives,” Tate told Billboard regarding the lawsuit’s conclusion. “It’s been a long, bitter two years, I’ll tell you. I’m glad it’s over.” 

“We’ve been trying to work something out for months and months and months, and it’s like any kind of lawsuit, it’s just slow going,” Tate continued. “But finally I think the realization that going to court over the whole thing was going to be a huge nightmare and huge financial mess for everybody that [we] really started to look at it more seriously and realistically. It’s pretty similar to the Pink Floyd settlement where one group got the name and Roger Waters got “The Wall.” It’s very similar to that. I retain “Operation: Mindcrime” and everything revolving around that, and they got the name, so it’s a win-win for everybody.” 

Immediately after the settlement Tate announced he would be performing his farewell tour as ‘Queensryche’ beginning in late July. For the forthcoming tour, Tate’s version of Queensryche will be performing all the hits along with some rarities to celebrate the music he’s enjoyed making over the past thirty years. Although the name will change, the line-up of stellar musicians performing with tate after this ‘farewell’ tour is expected to remain the same. 

Tate explained that he is allowed to tour under the Queensryche banner one last time. “We’re both allowed to do all of our pre-contracted dates as they were advertised, so once those dates are over then it all changes. I think my last date as Queensryche is September 1, August 31, something like that.” 

“I’m just really happy to be done with it all, and I think the other side is probably happy as well so we can turn the tide in this episode in our lives and move on to nicer things,” concluded Tate. “The whole experience was such a betrayal and so negative that I’m really ready to get past it, not think about it anymore, and it doesn’t really bear looking back on in my mind right now. That’s the last thing I want to do is think about it some more. I think just, I’m ready to move on and do something different. And this is a great launching point to do that from, and I’m really looking forward to it.” 

 

Helix Stream New Song From Upcoming Album ‘Bastard Of the Blues’

Helix’s new studio album ‘Bastard Of The Blues’ will be released on May 4th through Perris Records, and the Canadian rockers are streaming the title track online. The CD is a digi-pack with a 16 page insert containing individual band member shots and lyrics, and is available for pre-order directly from the band at www.planethelix.com

“The new CD ‘Bastard Of The Blues’ is officially being released next Sunday with a kick off release party here at Planet Helix,” said Helix frontman Brian Vollmer. “These are usually intimate affairs with close friends that include a barbecue out back and a general co-mingling of the masses. We’re hoping to have the CD and t-shirts for sale that day. I always look at what we sell at the release party as “seeding” — in other words getting the CD out into the marketplace and from there word of mouth about the quality of the tunes doing the rest. I’ll also be releasing the first single “Bastard of the Blues” to Canadian radio through DMDS, the digital service that sends the song to select radio stations across Canada. The song arrives by email to each station’s music/program director, and from there they can decide to listen to it, download it, or add it to their playlist. The song itself is long, running over 5 minutes, which will probably prevent it from getting airplay in some markets. However, it’s my favorite song from the disc, so I’m going with my heart and gut on this one. The two obvious singles after that are Even Jesus (Wasn’t Loved in His Home Town) and Winning Is The Best Revenge. I’m undecided as to what to release as the second song. By the time I get around to making a decision the CD will have been out for over a month, so I’ll be listening to fan feedback and then making a move. Brent Doerner, who now does all my videos, is ready to eventually do videos for both, so eventually they’ll both come out anyway.” 

‘Bastard Of The Blues’, the follow-up to 2009’s ‘Vegabond Bones’ and the band’s 13th full-length studio album, features guest appearance by former Slik Toxik frontman Nick Walsh and guitarist Sean Kelly. The current version of Helix consists of Vollmer, guitarists Kaleb Duck and Chris Julke, and long time band members Daryl Gray (bass) and Greg Fritz Hinz (drums). 

 

Scorpions Drummer Jailed In Dubai For Insulting Islam

Scorpions Drummer Jailed In Dubai For Insulting IslamJames Kottak of the Scorpions was sentenced to a month in jail for insulting Islam and lifting his middle finger at Muslims at an airport, reports The National

Kottak, 51, the American drummer for the German band whose hits include “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, said he drank five glasses of wine on a flight from Moscow to Dubai. He was in transit to Bahrain to perform at the country’s Formula One grand prix on April 3. However due to his arrest, Kottak did not perform that show with the Scorpions and was replaced by Mark Cross. 

He said he and a friend had taken a wrong turn and entered the transit hall. Kottak was arrested for being drunk and became angry, witnesses said. They said he started swearing and talking about “non-educated Muslims”, then flashed his middle finger at Pakistani passengers. Police said he also exposed his behind. 

Kottak, who pleaded not guilty to insulting Islam and raising his middle finger, was also fined Dh2,000 for drinking without a licence, to which he pleaded guilty. He has been held since April 3, and will be released soon because of the time served.

A policeman said he heard Kottak say, “What is this disgusting smell?” before he insulted Islam. “I didn’t see anything else but I heard him. I then informed my supervisor, who came and took the defendant away.” A?customer service employee at the airport said, “When he saw the Pakistani and Afghan passengers, he covered his nose and said that there was no way he will travel with them.” He added that the drummer then started swearing repeatedly at the arrivals area of Terminal 2. “He wasn’t talking to a person specifically but was talking in general. He was very nervous at the time and talking loudly.” 

A Jordanian passenger services agent said Kottak came over to her and was talking loudly. She said, “He was shouting ‘non-educated Muslims’ then he went to the office of the head and flashed his middle finger at the passengers.” 

Police said in records that when he lowered his trousers he was asking people to touch his behind. “I don’t remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger,” Kottak said to prosecutors. When asked about taking down his trousers he said, “this is not true — I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back” as a “spontaneous act”. “There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not,” he told police. “I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them.” 

At Dubai Court of Misdemeanours yesterday, his lawyer said his client was innocent and the witnesses must have been misunderstood. “Their testimonies are contradictory, your honour,” said Hamid Al Khazraji.