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Brian May, the co-founder and guitarist of Queen, grew up in an era deeply shaped by The Beatles’ musical revolution. Their debut album 1963 marked a turning point in music history, sparking a movement Brian witnessed as a teenager. In 1970, as The Beatles disbanded, Brian embarked on his own musical journey with Queen.

Despite The Beatles primarily featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney as songwriters, George Harrison’s contributions were notable. Brian May, a huge admirer of Harrison’s work, revealed his favorite Harrison song: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” This track, from The Beatles’ “white album,” showcases Harrison’s songwriting prowess and emotional depth.

Harrison’s talent extended beyond The Beatles, earning acclaim for his solo career. Brian May, deeply inspired by Harrison’s courage and gentle approach, considers him an inspiration in the music world.

In 2013, Brian May and singer Kerry Ellis released a live album titled “Acoustic by Candlelight,” featuring covers and original songs. Their rendition of “Something,” another classic by George Harrison, highlighted May’s admiration for Harrison’s quiet yet profound contributions to music.

Despite his admiration for The Beatles, Brian May never had the opportunity to see them live. His parents, viewing pop concerts skeptically, never allowed him to attend, a regret he shares but also acknowledges the magical influence The Beatles had on his teenage years and the music of the ’60s.

Eddie Van Halen stands as a guitar legend, a rare talent in a league of his own. Back in the era dominated by Jimi Hendrix’s legacy, Eddie emerged as a unique force, crafting guitar licks that seemed to invent a new language on the instrument. His mastery of scale shapes, especially the blues scale, formed the basis of his iconic style, later enhanced by his groundbreaking tapping techniques.

This innovation shook the music world, inspiring awe and, at times, frustration as imitators sought to replicate his genius. Amidst this fervor, Joe Satriani, already a guitar virtuoso in his own right, stood out. Teaching in California and shaping future talents like Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Satriani’s prowess was undeniable.

When the opportunity arose, Satriani joined forces with Sammy Hagar to form the supergroup Chickenfoot. Despite the whimsical name, their musical prowess was no joke, with Satriani’s blazing leads complementing Hagar’s vocals and Chad Smith’s rock-solid grooves.

Hagar, no stranger to guitar legends having worked with Van Halen, praised Satriani as possibly the world’s best guitarist and a prolific songwriter. Satriani’s ability to churn out timeless tracks without the backing of a Van Halen or Hagar-like frontman speaks volumes about his talent and creativity.

Satriani’s admiration for Eddie’s influence is evident, even as he expands upon it in pieces like ‘Midnight,’ showcasing his own unique approach to guitar mastery. Yet, Satriani’s reverence for Van Halen’s legacy remains, acknowledging the debt owed to Eddie’s groundbreaking contributions to rock and roll.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, the renowned American musician and singer-songwriter, is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in rock music history. His influence on subsequent generations of musicians is profound, as they continue to honor his legacy by incorporating his style and contributions into their own music. Unlike many artists who rely on flashy stage antics and appearances, Vaughan’s focus was always on the music itself, driven by his passion and connection to the art form.

“Tightrope”

One of Vaughan’s standout solos can be found in the song “Tightrope” from his final studio album. Here, he skillfully utilizes silence and timing to evoke intense emotions, complemented by a repeating progression that adds depth and intensity to the piece.

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”

In his rendition of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” originally by Jimi Hendrix, Vaughan pays homage to the original while infusing his unique precision and style. His ability to hit every note with impeccable timing distinguishes his version and showcases his mastery of the instrument.

“Little Sister”

Even in more straightforward tracks like “Little Sister,” Vaughan’s professionalism shines through. During a live performance where a string broke mid-solo, he seamlessly continued playing, demonstrating his composure and skill under pressure.

“Texas Flood (Live At El Mocambo)”

In “Texas Flood (Live At El Mocambo),” Vaughan delivers an emotionally charged extended solo, showcasing both his technical prowess and heartfelt passion for the music.

“Lenny”

One of Vaughan’s most touching compositions, “Lenny,” was inspired by his wife and the meaningful gift of a Fender Stratocaster. This track highlights Vaughan’s versatility, blending gentleness with raw emotion, and reflects his deep connection to his music and loved ones.

In a revealing chat with Ryan Roxie, Billy Sheehan shed light on a unique stage directive from David Lee Roth involving duct tape during their time together after Roth departed Van Halen to form his own band in late 1985. Sheehan, who was part of Roth’s band for the ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile’ and briefly for the ‘Skyscraper’ albums, discussed the dynamics of their performances and the rumored use of duct tape to enforce stage boundaries.

Sheehan clarified that the infamous duct tape line on Roth’s stage wasn’t part of the ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile’ tour. He noted, “During the ‘Eat ‘Em and Smile’ tour, Steve [Vai] and I had the freedom to roam the stage extensively without any limitations. It was a genuine band experience with no hold barred. However, I heard about the duct tape rule being implemented during the ‘Skyscraper’ tour, which I wasn’t a part of.”

Further, when probed about the existence of the duct tape line, Sheehan confirmed, “Yes, the duct tape was indeed used. In fact, there was an incident where a band member crossed the line and faced significant repercussions.”

Reflecting on his departure, Sheehan recounted a pivotal moment that occurred in the studio with Roth.

“The final straw for me was during a studio session for the ‘Skyscraper’ tour, where we recorded background vocals to be used as samples for live performances. This move towards pre-recorded vocals didn’t sit well with me. Later that same day, I had a conversation with Dave that ultimately led to me leaving the band. Thankfully, I never participated in a tour that used those fake vocals. Although my voice was part of the tour, it was only present in a digital format.”

Disenchanted with Roth’s shift towards a more electronic and pop-oriented sound with ‘Skyscraper,’ Sheehan decided to forge his own path, leading to the formation of his band, Mr. Big.

Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, recently shared his admiration for Taylor Swift’s fanbase, noting its surprising similarities to punk rock audiences.

In an interview with Mojo, Vedder recounted a memorable experience attending a Taylor Swift concert with his daughter. He was struck by the camaraderie and spirit of Swift’s fans, particularly their tradition of exchanging friendship bracelets adorned with lyrics and messages of goodwill. Vedder found this act of community among fans both heartwarming and reminiscent of his own experiences in the punk rock scene:

“The excitement of preparing for the concert, making friendship bracelets, and witnessing the kindness among these young fans really stood out to me. They had formed their own community, united by a shared love for music.”

He further explained that the unity and sense of belonging he observed at Swift’s concert echoed the solidarity and empowerment he felt within punk rock crowds during his youth:

“It was incredibly moving to see how these fans came together, mirroring the way punk rock brought together those of us who felt like outsiders. It was a powerful reminder of music’s ability to connect us.”

During Swift’s July 22 concert in Seattle, Vedder and his family were in attendance, becoming part of an amusing mix-up. Vedder, dressed in a blazer and a T-shirt referencing Swift’s song ‘Anti-Hero,’ was captured in photos and videos circulating online. One TikTok video even mistakenly identified him as actor Pedro Pascal, leading to a flurry of corrections from fans. Vedder’s daughter, Olivia, stepped in to clarify on the platform:

“That’s actually my dad.”

The incident, along with Vedder’s insights, underscores the universal power of music to forge connections across genres and generations, bridging the gap between rock and pop audiences.

 

Dream Theater excited their fans with a video on their official X account, where Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci announced the completion of their latest album’s writing phase.

This marks the band’s first project with Portnoy since the release of ‘Black Clouds & Silver Linings’ in 2009. In the video, Petrucci humorously notes their hard work:

“We’ve put in so much effort that our beards have turned gray.”

Portnoy chimed in with a comment about the changes they’ve undergone:

“Believe it or not, my hair was completely dark when we started.”

The duo then shared the significant milestone they reached:

“Can you believe it? It’s March 30th, 2024, a Saturday, and we’ve just finished writing the album and recording the drum tracks. It’s unbelievable,” John stated.

Mike expressed his excitement:

“I’m over the moon. The results are incredible, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what we’ve accomplished.”

Petrucci added:

“This is going to be a big surprise for our fans.”

Over the weekend, Portnoy took to Facebook to update fans on the progress of the new album, sharing the completion of his drum parts:

“Today marks my final day playing this drum set for a while. The drum tracks for DT16 are complete! But this is just the beginning. We still have guitar, bass, keys, vocals, and percussion work ahead, not to mention lyrics, mixing, and mastering. We’re keeping details under wraps for now, but we’re all thrilled with what we’ve created and can’t wait for you to hear it. Patience is key, as we’ll reveal more in due time.”

On October 25, 2023, the band thrilled fans with the announcement of Portnoy’s return after his departure in 2010. In a January interview with Guitar World, Petrucci reflected on the significance of Portnoy’s return:

“We’re about to start the new album in less than two weeks. It’s incredibly exciting to have Mike back. We founded the band together, and have remained friends since we met at Berklee [College Of Music] at 18. It feels special to have him rejoin the band, and he’s just as excited as we are.”

Last month, Portnoy revealed that he’d been given the reins to decide the setlist for Dream Theater’s upcoming concerts, signaling his integral role in the band’s future direction.

Ted Nugent has decided against hanging up his guitar for good, revealing plans for new performances via his Instagram account.

After concluding his “Adios Mofo ’23” farewell tour last year, featuring Jason Hartless on drums and Johnny Schoen on bass in his latest lineup, Nugent is not ready to step away from the spotlight just yet.

Ted Announces Surprise Gigs

In his social media update, Nugent unveiled dates for an unexpected series of “SpeakEazy” concerts. He urged fans:

“Secure your spots now for a limited series of surprise SpeakEazy performances! Be there for the May 4th event at https://www.stubwire.com/c/1050/twofrogsgrill/’ Blues, Brews & BBQ’ alongside Jared James Nichols & Wes Jeans – May 4, Saturday, 6:00 PM, 2024, at Heritage Hall, Ardmore, OK, USA.”

After his supposed final tour, Nugent spoke on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, reflecting humorously on his retirement:

“My guitars are still creating magic. They’re practically having a party in my guitar sanctuary. I play daily. Here in Texas, I’ve got a band with Jon Kutz on drums and Johnny Big on bass and vocals. We’re constantly making music. We host Ted Nugent speakeasies, a mix of planned and impromptu rock n’ roll sessions around Texas.”

Nugent had previously mentioned on The Nightly Nuge his intentions to continue performing, albeit not on tour:

“We’ll keep the music alive with Ted Nugent Speakeasies, like the two-night sold-out event we had at Rattlesnake Roadhouse in Walnut Spring. It was a throwback to the raw, exploratory vibe of 1959 rock n’ roll, so expect more speakeasy events.”

He has scheduled five shows for April and May 2024, kicking off with the first Speakezy Rockout on April 13 and wrapping up on May 4.

Jay Gordon, the lead vocalist of Orgy, shared some intriguing news about Linkin Park’s future during a chat with Mike Z. on the “Wired in the Empire” show on KCAL 96.7. Orgy, known for their early tours with Linkin Park and Gordon’s remix work on the song ‘Pts.OF.Athrty’ for the ‘Reanimation’ album, has a close history with the band. During the interview, Gordon hinted at a new direction for Linkin Park:

“They’re awesome people and an incredible band. Despite the years, they’re pushing forward. It’s obviously going to be challenging without Chester [Bennington], but let’s wait and see. I’ve heard they’re considering a female vocalist now, that’s the word going around.”

When prodded by Mike Z. about the band’s return and the new vocalist, Gordon cautiously added:

“Just to be clear, I don’t have all the details. But the buzz is that they’re thinking of bringing in a woman to lead the vocals. It’ll definitely be something to watch out for.”

Linkin Park has been on hiatus since the loss of Chester Bennington. In a 2022 livestream on Twitch, Mike Shinoda clarified the band’s current situation, emphasizing their occasional catch-ups but no concrete plans for new music or tours. He explained:

“As for Linkin Park updates, we’re in touch now and then, but there’s nothing big on the horizon. No tours, no albums, nothing like that in the works. Just to set the record straight. And I say this to temper expectations because any small hint can set off a wave of excitement. It’s better to avoid disappointment.”

Over the last year, Shinoda has kept the band’s spirit alive by collaborating with artists globally, resulting in the release of the ‘Already Over Sessions’.

Pete Townshend recently shared in a New York Times interview his candid thoughts on music creation and performance. He confirmed his interest in producing new tracks for The Who and envisioned a grand farewell tour spanning the globe.

Despite his prolific creativity, Townshend revealed a lack of enthusiasm for live performances, acknowledging financial motivations behind his tours. He emphasized his high standards for personal living and a shift away from seeking public approval, recalling the lukewarm reception of his 1985 album “White City.”

Townshend humorously noted AC/DC’s consistent sound across their extensive discography, contrasting it with The Who’s diverse and innovative approach to music. He highlighted The Who’s recent contribution to the Teenage Cancer Trust concert series at London’s Royal Albert Hall, which also celebrated Roger Daltrey with a star-studded lineup including Robert Plant and Eddie Vedder.

Meanwhile, AC/DC is set to captivate fans with two anticipated performances at London’s Wembley Stadium, featuring The Pretty Reckless as special guests.

Jon Bon Jovi recently spoke about Bruce Springsteen’s crucial role in recovering from vocal cord surgery. After facing vocal issues threatening his career, Bon Jovi underwent surgery to restore his voice. During this challenging time, Springsteen provided not just friendship but also much-needed support.

Bon Jovi’s Battle with Vocal Cord Issues

The Bon Jovi frontman detailed the seriousness of his condition, which left one of his vocal cords significantly smaller, affecting his singing ability. Despite the setback, he remained hopeful about returning to performing. In interviews, he expressed his determination to get back on stage, aiming for extensive tours once his recovery is complete.

A Documentary on Bon Jovi’s Journey

An upcoming docuseries called ‘Thank You, Goodnight’ will delve into Bon Jovi’s recovery journey, starting from his vocal cord surgery. Scheduled for release on April 26, the series promises to shed light on his struggles and resilience during this period.

Springsteen’s Support Through It All

Springsteen’s support during Bon Jovi’s recovery was crucial. Their friendship was evident as Springsteen would visit Bon Jovi regularly, taking him on drives to lift his spirits. Bon Jovi emphasized the emotional strength this support provided during his toughest moments.

Bon Jovi’s Continued Journey

Despite the challenges, Bon Jovi remains focused on his music career. His upcoming album and hit single showcase his determination to keep creating music. With Springsteen’s friendship and encouragement, Bon Jovi is on a path to full recovery and returning to the stage stronger than ever.