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Everything posted by KBIII

  1. AC/DC

    Figured I would start a topic on my favorite band. Does anyone have a favorite AC/DC song? Mine is Hells Bells. Bio AC/DC are a hard rock band formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. The band are considered pioneers of heavy metal, alongside bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Its members, however, have always classified their music as "rock 'n' roll". AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Cliff Williams replaced Mark Evans in 1977. In 1979, the band recorded their highly successful album, Highway to Hell. Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on February 19, 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected as Scott's replacement. Later that year, the band released their biggest-selling album, Back in Black. The band's next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was also highly successful and was the first hard rock album to reach #1 in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity, however, soon after the departure of drummer Phil Rudd in 1983. Poor record sales continued until the release of The Razors Edge in 1990. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 and contributed to the band's 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well-received by critics. A new album is expected in Jan of 2008. AC/DC have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, including more than 68 million albums in the U.S. Back in Black has sold 42 million units worldwide, including 21 million in the U.S., making it the second-highest-selling album ever internationally, and the biggest-selling album by any band. The band are ranked fourth on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and were ranked by MTV the 7th "Greatest Heavy Metal Band Of All Time". Name Angus and Malcolm Young claim they developed the idea for the band's name after seeing the acronym "AC/DC" on the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret. "AC/DC" is an abbreviation for "alternating current/direct current", which indicates that an electrical device can use either type of power. The brothers felt that this name symbolized the band's raw energy and power-driven performances, and the name stuck. In some cultures, "AC/DC" is a slang term for bisexuality; the band have said that they were not aware of this usage until it was brought to their attention by a taxi driver one night after a concert early in their career. Some religious figures have suggested that the name stands for "Anti-Christ/Devil's Child(ren)", "Anti-Christ/Devil Christ", and so on. Although rumours have persisted among critics attempting to paint the band as Satanists, the band have denied these interpretations of their name, and have mocked them as being opportunistically-constructed backronyms. "AC/DC" is pronounced one letter at a time, though the band is popularly known as "Acca Dacca" in Australia. The name has inspired tribute bands, including BC/DC from the Canadian province of British Columbia; AC/DShe, an all-female group from San Francisco; and Hayseed Dixie, an Appalachian band specialising in bluegrass covers. History Brothers Angus, Malcolm, and George Young were born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to Sydney, Australia with most of their family in 1963. George was the first to learn to play the guitar. He became a member of The Easybeats, Australia's most successful band of the 1960s. In 1966, they became the first local rock act to have an international hit, with the song "Friday On My Mind". Malcolm followed in George's footsteps by playing with a Newcastle, New South Wales band called The Velvet Underground (not to be confused with the New York-based Velvet Underground). Early years In November 1973, Malcolm and Angus Young formed AC/DC and recruited bassist Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans, and Colin Burgess, ex-The Master's Apprentices drummer. The band played their first gig at a club named Chequers in Sydney on New Year's Eve, 1973. They were later signed to the EMI-distributed Albert Productions label for Australia and New Zealand. The early line-up of the band changed often; Colin Burgess was the first member fired, and several bassists and drummers passed through the band during the next year (see List of AC/DC members). By this time, Angus Young had adopted his characteristic school uniform stage outfit. The original uniform was reputedly from his secondary school, Ashfield Boys High School in Sydney; the idea was his sister Margaret's. Angus had tried other costumes, such as Spider-Man, Zorro, a gorilla, and a parody of Superman, named Super-Ang. In fact in its early days, most members of the band dressed in some form of glam or satin outfit but this approached was abandoned when it was discovered Melbourne band Skyhooks had already adopted this approach to their stage presentation. The Young brothers decided that Evans was not a suitable frontman for the group, because they felt he was more of a glam rocker like Gary Glitter. On stage, Evans was occasionally replaced by the band's first manager, Dennis Laughlin, who was the original lead singer with Sherbet prior to Daryl Braithwaite joining the band. Evans had interpersonal problems with Laughlin, which also contributed to the band's ill feeling towards Evans. Meanwhile Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott, an experienced vocalist and friend of George Young's, was interested in becoming their vocalist. Bon Scott era (1974–1980) The first stable AC/DC line-up, 1975. From L-R: Malcolm Young, Bon Scott, Angus Young, Mark Evans and Phil Rudd.In September 1974, Bon Scott replaced Dave Evans. Scott was a former lead vocalist with The Spektors (1964–66), The Valentines (1966–70), and Fraternity (1970–73). The band had recorded only one single with Evans, "Can I Sit Next to You"/"Rockin' in the Parlour", and "Can I Sit Next to You" was eventually re-recorded with Bon Scott under the title "Can I Sit Next to You Girl". By January 1975, the Australia-only album High Voltage had been recorded. It took only ten days, and was based on instrumental songs written by the Young brothers with lyrics added by Scott. Within a few months, the band's line-up had stabilized, featuring Scott, the Young brothers, bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd. Later that year they released the single "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)", which became their perennial rock anthem. It was included on their second album, T.N.T., which was also released only in Australia and New Zealand. The album featured another classic song, "High Voltage". Between 1974 and 1977, aided by regular appearances on Molly Meldrum's Countdown, a nationally broadcast pop music television show, AC/DC became one of the most popular and successful acts in Australia. Their performance on 3 April 1977 was their last live TV appearance for over twenty years. International success (1976–1978) In 1976, the band signed an international deal with Atlantic Records, and toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. They gained invaluable experience of the stadium circuit, supporting leading hard rock acts such as Kiss, Aerosmith, Styx and Blue Öyster Cult, and they co-headlined with Cheap Trick. The first AC/DC album to gain worldwide distribution was a 1976 compilation of tracks taken from the High Voltage and T.N.T. LPs. Also titled High Voltage, and released on the Atlantic Records label, the album sold three million copies worldwide, partly due to its popularity with a British punk audience. The track selection was heavily weighted towards the more recent T.N.T., and included only two songs from their first LP. The band's next album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, was released in the same year in both Australian-only and international versions, like its predecessor. Track listings varied worldwide, and the international version of the album also featured "Rocker" from T.N.T. The original Australian version included their popular song "Jailbreak" (now more readily available on the 1984 compilation EP '74 Jailbreak or as a live version on the 1992 Live album). Dirty Deeds was not released in the U.S. until 1981, by which time the band were at the peak of their popularity. Following the 1977 recording Let There Be Rock, bassist Mark Evans was sacked due to personal differences with Angus Young. He was replaced by Cliff Williams, who also provided backing vocals alongside Malcolm Young. Neither of the Young brothers has elaborated on the departure of Evans, though Richard Griffiths, the CEO of Epic Records and a booking agent for AC/DC in the mid-1970s, later commented, "You knew Mark wasn't going to last, he was just too much of a nice guy." AC/DC were a formative influence on New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Saxon and Def Leppard who emerged in the late 1970s, in part as a reaction to the decline of traditional early 1970s heavy metal bands. In 2007, critics noted that AC/DC, along with Thin Lizzy, UFO, Scorpions and Judas Priest, were among "the second generation of rising stars ready to step into the breach as the old guard waned." U.S. success (1977–1979) Highway to Hell (1979)AC/DC's first American exposure was through the Michigan radio station AM 600 WTAC in 1977. The station's manager, Peter C. Cavanaugh, booked the band to play at Flint's Capitol Theater. The supporting act was MC5, who had briefly reunited and agreed to play at the event. The band opened with their popular song "Live Wire" and closed with "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)". AC/DC came to be identified with the punk rock movement by the British press. Their reputation, however, managed to survive the punk upheavals of the late 1970s, and they maintained a cult following in the UK throughout this time. Angus Young gained notoriety for mooning the audience during live performances. The 1978 release of Powerage marked the debut of bassist Cliff Williams, and with its harder riffs, followed the blueprint set by Let There Be Rock. Only one single was released for Powerage, "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation" and gave AC/DC the highest mark at the time, reaching #24. An appearance at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow during the Powerage tour was recorded and released as If You Want Blood, featuring classic songs such as "Whole Lotta Rosie", "Problem Child", and "Let There Be Rock", as well as lesser-known album tracks like "Riff Raff". The album was the last produced by Harry Vanda and George Young with Bon Scott on vocals (although Vanda and Young later produced Blow Up Your Video) and is claimed to be AC/DC's most underrated album. The band's sixth album, Highway to Hell, was produced by Mutt Lange and released in 1979. It became the first AC/DC LP to break into the U.S. top 100, eventually reaching #17, and it propelled AC/DC into the top ranks of hard rock acts. Highway to Hell put increased emphasis on backing vocals but still featured AC/DC's signature sound: loud, simple, pounding riffs and grooving backbeats. The final track, "Night Prowler", has two breaths in quick succession at the start of the song, intended to create a tone of fear and loathing. Bon Scott's death (1980) On February 19, 1980, Bon Scott passed out after a night of partying in London, and was left in a car owned by an acquaintance of his named Alistair Kinnear. The following morning, Kinnear rushed him to King's College Hospital in Camberwell, where Scott was pronounced dead on arrival. Although common folklore claims that pulmonary aspiration of vomit was the cause of Scott's death, the official cause was listed as "acute alcohol poisoning" and "death by misadventure". Scott's family buried him in Fremantle, Western Australia, the area to which they had emigrated when he was a child. Inconsistencies in the official accounts of Scott's death have been cited in conspiracy theories, which suggest that Scott died of a heroin overdose, or was killed by exhaust fumes redirected into the car, or that Kinnear did not exist. Additionally, Scott was asthmatic, and the temperature was below freezing on the morning of his death. Later in the band's career Malcolm Young and Phil Rudd both needed time to recover from their alcoholism. Angus Young, meanwhile, has always been a teetotaller. Finding a new voice Following Scott's death, the band briefly considered quitting; they eventually concluded, however, that Scott would have wanted AC/DC to continue, and various candidates were considered for his replacement. Ex-Back Street Crawler vocalist Terry Slesser was approached, but he decided not to join an established band; instead, he assembled a successful solo career, which included co-writing the song "Rainbow's Gold". Buzz Shearman, ex-Moxy member, was not able to join due to vocal problems. The remaining AC/DC members finally decided on ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson. Angus Young later recalled, "I remember Bon playing me Little Richard, and then telling me the story of when he saw Brian singing." He says about that night, "There's this guy up there screaming at the top of his lungs and then the next thing you know he hits the deck. He's on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I thought it was great, and then to top it off—you couldn't get a better encore—they came in and wheeled the guy off!'" Later that night, Johnson would be diagnosed with appendicitis, which was the cause of his writhing around on stage. For the audition, Johnson sang "Whole Lotta Rosie" from Let There Be Rock, and Ike & Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits". He was hired a few days after the audition. Brian Johnson era (1980–present) With Johnson, the band completed the songwriting that they had begun with Bon Scott for the album Back in Black. Recording took place at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas a few months after Scott's death. Back in Black, produced by Mutt Lange and recorded by Tony Platt, became their biggest-selling album and a hard-rock landmark; hits include "Hells Bells", "You Shook Me All Night Long", and the title track "Back in Black". The album was certified platinum a year after its release, and by 2006 it had sold more than 21 million copies in the United States. The album reached #1 in the UK and #4 in the U.S., where it spent 131 weeks in the top ten. The follow-up album, 1981's For Those About to Rock We Salute You, also sold well and was positively received by critics. The album featured two of the band's most popular singles: "Let's Get It Up" and the title track, "For Those About to Rock", which reached #13 and #15, respectively, in the UK. The band split with Lange for their self-produced 1983 album, Flick of the Switch, in an effort to recover the rawness and simplicity of their early albums. Departure of Rudd (1983) Amid rumours of alcoholism and drug-induced paranoia, drummer Phil Rudd's friendship with Malcolm Young deteriorated and, after a long period of unfriendliness, the men's dislike for each other grew so strong that they fought. Rudd was fired two hours after the fight. Although Rudd had finished most of the drum tracks for their next album, he was replaced by Simon Wright after the band held an anonymous audition. With the new line-up, the band released a less successful album, the self-produced Flick of the Switch, which was considered underdeveloped and unmemorable. One critic stated that the band "had made the same album nine times". AC/DC was voted the eighth-biggest disappointment of the year in the 1984 Kerrang! readers' poll. However, Flick of the Switch eventually reached #4 on the UK charts, and AC/DC had minor success with the singles "Nervous Shakedown" and "Flick of the Switch". Fly on the Wall, produced by the Young brothers in 1985, was also regarded as uninspired and directionless. A music concept video of the same name featured the band at a bar, playing five of the album's ten songs. In 1986, the group returned to the charts with the made-for-radio "Who Made Who". The album, Who Made Who, was the soundtrack to Stephen King's film Maximum Overdrive, and is the closest the band has come to releasing a "greatest hits" collection.[28] It brought together older hits, such as "Hells Bells" and "Ride On", with newer songs like "Sink the Pink", and two new instrumentals, "D.T." and "Chase the Ace" In February 1988, AC/DC were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association's Hall of Fame. Renewed popularity (1988–present) AC/DC's 1988 album, Blow up Your Video, was recorded at Miraval Studio in Le Val, France, and reunited the band with their original producers, Harry Vanda and George Young. The group recorded nineteen songs, choosing ten for the final release; though the album was later criticized for containing excessive "filler", it was a commercial success. Blow up Your Video sold more copies than the previous two studio releases combined, and reached #2 on the UK charts—AC/DC's highest position since Back In Black in 1980. The album featured the UK top-twenty single "Heatseeker", and popular songs such as "That's The Way I Wanna Rock And Roll". The Blow Up Your Video World Tour began in February 1988, in Perth, Australia. That April, following live appearances across Europe, Malcolm Young announced that he was taking time off from touring, principally to begin recovery from his alcoholism. Another member of the Young family, Stevie Young, temporarily took Malcolm's place. Following the tour, Wright left the group to work on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio album, Lock up the Wolves, and was replaced by session veteran Chris Slade. Johnson was unavailable for several months while finalising his divorce, so the Young brothers wrote all the songs for the next album, a practice they have continued for all subsequent releases. The new album, The Razors Edge, was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, who had previously worked with Aerosmith and Bon Jovi. Released in 1990, it was a major comeback for the band, and included the hits "Thunderstruck" and "Are You Ready", which reached #5 and #16 respectively on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart, and "Moneytalks", which peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went multi-platinum and reached the U.S. top ten. Several shows on the Razors Edge tour were recorded as footage for the 1992 live album, entitled simply Live. Live was produced by Fairbairn, and is considered one of the best live albums of the 1990s. A year later, AC/DC recorded "Big Gun" for the soundtrack of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Last Action Hero, and was released as a single, reaching #1 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, the band's first #1 single on that chart. In 1994, Angus and Malcolm invited Rudd to several jam sessions. He was eventually rehired to replace Slade, whose amicable departure arose in part due to the band's strong desire to work again with Rudd. In 1995, with the 1980—83 line-up back together, the group released Ballbreaker, recorded at the Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, California, and produced by Rick Rubin. The first single from the album was "Hard as a Rock", which reached #1 on the U.S. charts. Two more singles were released from the album: "Hail Caesar" and "Cover You in Oil". In 1997, a box set named Bonfire was released. It contained four albums; a remastered version of Back in Black; Volts (a disc with alternate takes, outtakes, and stray live cuts) and two live albums, Live from the Atlantic Studios and Let There Be Rock: The Movie. Live from the Atlantic Studios was recorded in 1978 at the Atlantic Studios in New York. Let There Be Rock: The Movie was a double album recorded in 1979 at The Pavillon in Paris, and was the soundtrack of a motion picture, AC/DC: Let There Be Rock. The US version of the box set included a colour booklet, a two-sided poster, a sticker, a temporary tattoo, a keychain bottle opener, and a guitar pick. In 2000, the band released their sixteenth studio album, Stiff Upper Lip, produced by George Young. The album was better received by critics than Ballbreaker, but was considered lacking in new ideas. The Australian release included a bonus disc with three promotional videos and several live performances recorded in Madrid in 1996. Stiff Upper Lip reached #1 in five countries, including Argentina and Germany; #2 in three countries, Spain, France and Switzerland; #3 in Australia; #5 in Canada and Portugal; and #7 in Norway, the U.S. and Hungary. The first single, "Stiff Upper Lip", remained at #1 on the U.S. charts for four weeks. The other singles released also did very well, "Safe in New York City" and "Satellite Blues" reached #31 and #7 in the U.S. respectably. Recent events (2000–present) In 2002, AC/DC signed a long-term, multi-album deal with Sony Music, who went on to release a series of remastered albums as part of their AC/DC remasters series. Each release contained an expanded booklet, featuring rare photographs, memorabilia, and notes. In 2003, the entire back-catalogue (except Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Lip) was remastered and re-released. Ballbreaker was eventually re-released in October 2005; Stiff Upper Lip was later rereleased in April 2007. The street sign for ACDC Lane, Melbourne.In May 2003, Malcolm Young accepted a Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Service to Australian Music at the 2003 Music Winners Awards, during which he paid special tribute to Bon Scott. In the same year, the Recording Industry Association of America upgraded the group's U.S. sales figures from 46.5 million to 63 million, making AC/DC the fifth-best-selling band in U.S. music history, behind only The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Eagles. The RIAA also certified the Back in Black album as double diamond (twenty million) in U.S. sales, making it the sixth-best-selling U.S. album of all time; by 2005 the album had sold 21 million copies, which moved it into fifth place. On July 30 the band performed with the Rolling Stones and Rush at Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto. The concert, held before an audience of half a million, was intended to help the city overcome the effects of the 2003 SARS epidemic. The concert holds the record for the largest paid music event in North American history. On October 1, 2004, a central Melbourne thoroughfare, Corporation Lane, was renamed in honour of the band. However, the City of Melbourne forbade the use of the slash character in street names, so the four letters were combined. The lane is near Swanston Street where, on the back of a truck, the band recorded their video for the 1975 hit "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)". Additionally, a street in Leganés, Spain was named "Calle de AC/DC" on March 2, 2000. The band came second in a list of Australia's highest-earning entertainers for 2005 (25 million aus$), after The Wiggles(50 million aus$), despite having neither toured nor released an album that year. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction & Legacy Brian Johnson (left) singing with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003. During the ceremony the band performed "Highway to Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long", with guest vocals provided by host Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. He described the band's power chords as "the thunder from down under that gives you the second-most-powerful surge that can flow through your body." During the acceptance speech, Brian Johnson quoted their 1977 song "Let There Be Rock": “ "In the beginning, back in 1955, man didn't know about the rock 'n roll show and all that jive. The white man had the schmaltz, the black man had the blues, but no one knew what they was gonna do but Tchaikovsky had the news, he said: 'let there be rock'". Bon Scott wrote that. And it's a real privilege to accept these awards tonight. ” Likewise their legacy is enduring. They've continued to receive respect in various niches of the music industry, from various other highly respected artist, one notable and somewhat odd, being super singer Linda Ronstadt, who stated she didn't pay attention to them in the 1970s but "what a good band AC/DC is, they're really good; I love them now." New album As of January 2006, AC/DC are working on a new studio album. According to Malcolm Young, "The band is currently writing and recording material for the eagerly anticipated next album, but no release date has been set ." In a 2004 interview, Brian Johnson revealed that, for the first time since the 1988 album Blow Up Your Video, he will be handling lyrics. He also said that Angus Young has written harder riffs than those on Stiff Upper Lip. In a 2005 interview, Johnson confirmed that the band does not know when the album will be recorded, or who will produce it. Malcolm Young said the new album has "gotta be perfect". Band members Current members Brian Johnson – lead vocals (1980–present) Angus Young – lead & rhythm guitars (1973–present) Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1973–present) Cliff Williams – bass, backing vocals (1977–present) Phil Rudd – drums (1975–1983, 1994–present) Former members Bon Scott - lead vocals (1974–1980) [deceased] Simon Wright - drums (1983–1989) Chris Slade - drums (1989–1994) Mark Evans - bass (1975–1977) Dave Evans - lead vocals (1973–1974) (Credit to Wikipedia)
  2. Van Halen

    Van Halen is a classic rock band. Any other fans? Bio Van Halen is an American rock band formed in the 1970s. From their debut album, Van Halen (1978) they became an influential band in American hard rock, releasing eleven studio albums. selling more than 80 million albums worldwide earning the band the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock List. According to the Recording Industry Association of America Van Halen is #19 on the list of Top Selling Artists of all time (having sold more than 56 million albums in the U.S.) and is one of only five rock groups that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S. The band and its best known former members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007. In addition to being recognized for their artistic contributions and success, the band is known for drama surrounding the lead singer spot. Although the core instrumentalists haven't changed (Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and until 2006, Michael Anthony on bass), the band has recorded studio albums with three different lead vocalists: David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone. Each vocalist has departed (at least once) under cloudy circumstances. More recently Michael Anthony was replaced in the band by Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang, but this new lineup is not yet known to have performed or recorded. Following their 2004 concert tour the band was on hiatus until September 2006, and since then the status of the band has been discussed by its individual members numerous times, though current details are vague. Other than three new songs in 2004, the band has released no new material since their album Van Halen III was released in 1998. History With David Lee Roth (1972 - 1985) As Mammoth In 1972, the Van Halen brothers formed a three-piece band called Mammoth, with Eddie Van Halen as lead vocalist and guitarist, Alex Van Halen on drums, and Mark Stone on bass. They rented a sound system from David Lee Roth, but decided they could save money by letting Roth and his P.A. system into the band. He had previously auditioned for them unsuccessfully. The band decided Stone did not suit them, and Michael Anthony was called over to David Lee Roth's father's basement (where the band rehearsed)) to see how he compared. Anthony, the bassist and frontman of the band "Snake," had seen Mammoth performing at a festival. Eddie, Alex, and Anthony jammed late into the night and hired Anthony as the band's new bassist/backup vocalist. The band discovered that the name "Mammoth" was already being used, and renamed themselves "Van Halen." The newly-renamed band started playing clubs in Pasadena and Hollywood more frequently and to growing audiences, working hard to increase their popularity through self promotion: before each gig they would pass out flyers at local high schools in Pasadena and the vicinity. They quickly developed a cult following, and Van Halen fans soon became notorious for being troublesome. The band was denied access to an audition for a club in Pasadena because their fans were too rowdy[citation needed]. Also, when the police were called to a backyard barbecue where Van Halen were performing, a mob of Van Halen fans allegedly flipped over several police cars and handcuffed one officer to a tree The band became a staple act on California's Sunset Strip during the mid-1970s, consistently playing at well known clubs such as the Whisky a Go Go. In 1977 Gene Simmons, of the rock band Kiss, saw one of Van Halen's shows and financed their first demo tape, flying the band to Electric Ladyland studios in New York City to record "House of Pain" and "Runnin' With the Devil". Eddie disliked his playing on the demo, because he wasn't using his own equipment and had to overdub guitar parts. Simmons wanted to change the band's name to "Daddy Longlegs" and had designed cover art (a daddy longlegs wearing a top hat), but the band stuck with Van Halen. Simmons opted to forgo any more involvement with the band, and returned to Kiss. Later in 1977, Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman of Warner Bros. records saw Van Halen performing at the Starwood in Hollywood. Although the audience was small, the two were so impressed with Van Halen that within a week they offered them a recording contract, and in October of that year, Van Halen entered Sunset Sound Recorders studio and recorded their eponymous first album. All of the tracks were laid down very quickly (about three weeks), with little over-dubbing or double tracking. Minor mistakes were left on the record and a very simple musical set-up was used to give the record an almost-live feel. After adding vocals, the album was essentially ready to be mixed. Despite the simple studio set-up, Van Halen featured innovations in musical technique, production, and arrangement. Career Breakthrough Cover from 1978 debut album Van Halen with one of the earliest pictures of the band in their original lineup as Van Halen (clockwise from upper left corner: Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, and Alex Van Halen). In the centre is the band's distinctive original logo, used until 1986.Entitled Van Halen, the album was released to immediate commercial success, reaching #12 on the Billboard pop music charts, one of rock's most commercially successful debuts. It is a highly regarded hard rock album. While it included original songs by the band, such as "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," "Eruption," and "Runnin' With The Devil," the album also featured covers of the Kinks' song "You Really Got Me" and John Brim's "Ice Cream Man." The band toured for nearly a year on the basis of Van Halen, opening for Black Sabbath and establishing a reputation as a talented and exciting live band. The band's early chemistry came out of a contrast between Eddie Van Halen's technical wizardry and David Lee Roth's flamboyant antics, a rivalry that would later erupt into full-blown conflict. They returned to the studio in 1979 for Van Halen II, similar in style to their debut. This album yielded the band's first hit single, "Dance The Night Away." Over the next four years, the band alternated album releases and touring to increasing commercial and critical acclaim. By 1980, Van Halen was perhaps one of the world's most successful and influential hard rock band. Their party-loving spirit and hard rocking anthem-like sound made them popular with teenagers. Women and Children First was released in 1980, further cementing Van Halen's status with popular songs like "And The Cradle Will Rock" and "Everybody Wants Some!!". Despite success, in 1981, during the recording of their fourth album, Fair Warning, tensions began to rise. Eddie Van Halen's desire to experiment with more serious songs and complex structures was at odds with Roth's pop instincts and increasingly cartoonish, irony-laden persona. Although Roth (and producer Templeman) acquiesced to Eddie's wishes, Fair Warning was a relative sales disappointment, with no hit singles. The following album, Diver Down, performed better, and at the end of the supporting tour the band earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest-paid single appearance of a music group: their inebriated, $1 million, 90-minute set at the US Festival in 1983. Departure of Roth Cover art for the hit single "Panama" (1984) - one of the last photos of the 1974 - 1985 lineupVan Halen's next album, 1984 (released on January 1, 1984) was their commercial pinnacle, and many claim their artistic apex as well. Recorded at Eddie Van Halen's newly-built 5150 Studios, it featured keyboards, previously heard only rarely, now fully integrated into the band's sound. The album's lead single, "Jump", featured a bouncy synthesizer hook and anthemic lyrics, and became the band's first and only #1 pop hit, garnering them their first Grammy nomination.[citation needed]. Other hit singles included "Panama," "I'll Wait," and "Hot For Teacher," and many of the songs became major music videos on the increasingly popular MTV television channel, especially "Hot For Teacher," which featured a skimpily dressed model playing the part of an elementary-school teacher and school-age boys portraying younger versions of the band members. The album 1984 was praised by critics and fans alike[citation needed], peaking at #2 on the Billboard charts behind Thriller by Michael Jackson (Eddie Van Halen played the guitar solo on the hit song "Beat It," on that album). However, the album was also a breaking point for the original line-up. In the midst of their greatest commercial success and tour, the artistic and personal tensions among the musicians reached a breaking point. Roth was upset about Eddie playing music outside of Van Halen and Eddie sick of Roth's flamboyant behavior and cartoonish stage persona. Roth exited the band on April 1, 1985. With Sammy Hagar (1985 - 1996) Cover art for the hit single "Love Walks In" (1986) at start of Hagar's tenure with Van HalenEddie Van Halen first offered the lead singer position to Patty Smyth of Scandal, who turned it down. The band was then introduced to singer/guitarist/song-writer Sammy Hagar, formerly of the 1970s band Montrose, and at that time a solo artist coming off a very successful year (his 1984 album VOA had yielded the hit single "I Can't Drive 55'"). Hagar agreed to join the band. The 1986 Van Halen album 5150 was an immediate hit, becoming the band's first #1 album on the Billboard charts, driven by the keyboard-dominated singles "Why Can't This Be Love?", "Dreams" and "Love Walks In." The album included diverse songs ranging from the near thrash of "Get Up" and party rock of "Summer Nights" and "Good Enough," to the more introspective "Best Of Both Worlds" and a guitar heavy title track. 5150 is generally considered the strongest album of the "Hagar era." The new Van Halen logo arrived in 1986 and was the logo until March 2007, when the official website's logo reverted to the band's classic logo.During Hagar's tenure, the band established a musical formula that proved commercially successful in the United States. Hagar's style enabled Van Halen to become accessible to a wider audience, with lyrics that were more conventional and refined. Eddie's keyboard work brought a wider variety of sonic textures within each song, and the production was altered toward the pop side, and the songs became longer: During the Roth era, Van Halen songs rarely stretched beyond three and a half minutes, and some albums struggled to cross the thirty minute mark. With Hagar, some songs exceeded five minutes in length. The result was markedly different from the hard charging, rollicking riffs of the group's earlier work. The mix of pop and hard rock styles created a new sound for Van Halen. All four studio albums produced during this period reached #1 on the Billboard pop music charts. Also during this time, 17 singles breached the top 12 of the mainstream rock tracks chart. In addition, Van Halen was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning the 1991 Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal award for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Van Halen continued to enjoy tremendous popular success throughout the mid-90's, while many other trends and bands fell from favor, overtaken by anti-establishment "Grunge Music." In 1995 Van Halen surprised many fans by supporting Bon Jovi on their European summer stadium tour. The band's commercial success and new "Van Hagar" sound did little to woo a small contingent of fans that still held a strong resentment over Roth's departure and refused to embrace Hagar. Throughout the era, when questioned about ever working with Roth again, Eddie repeatedly said he was happier with Hagar at the helm and that "Roth was not coming back." Departure of Hagar Van Halen with Sammy Hagar (circa 1995, not long before he left)During the recording of their contribution to the film Twister, escalating tension between Hagar and the Van Halen brothers boiled over publicly as Hagar departed on Father's Day, 1996. Hagar claimed that he was fired; Eddie Van Halen claimed that Hagar quit. The media storm surrounding the dramatic exit of Hagar helped him to immediately restart his solo career. However, the publicity wasn't helpful for Van Halen, only serving to shine a bright light on the vacant lead singer spot. The commercial success that Van Halen reached with Sammy Hagar set high expectations, and fans everywhere were watching and waiting for the band's next move. Semi-Reunion with Roth (1996) Soon after Hagar's departure, David Lee Roth re-entered the studio with the Van Halen brothers, Michael Anthony, and producer Glen Ballard. Two songs from those sessions were added to the band's Greatest Hits album and released as singles to help promote it, This helped to bring it to #1 on the US pop charts. However unknown to Roth, Eddie and Alex were still auditioning singers secretly. David Lee Roth with Van Halen at the MTV Video Music Awards 1996By September, David Lee Roth and the rest of the band were asked to present an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. On September 4, 1996, the four original members of Van Halen made their first public appearance together as Van Halen in over eleven years, presenting an award at the MTV Video Music Awards. Second Departure of Roth The band's appearance on the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards was greeted with a standing ovation, and fuelled speculation of a reunion. However, old wounds were reopened; while doing backstage interviews with the media, Roth told Eddie not to talk about personal issues such as Eddie's hip replacement. According to Eddie, Roth was rude and self-centred, causing another fallout. Several weeks after the awards show, it was discovered that Roth would not reunite with Van Halen. At this time, Roth released a media statement where he apologized to the media and the fans, stating that he was an unwitting participant in a publicity stunt by the Van Halens and Ray Daniels (their manager). The next day, Eddie and Alex Van Halen released their own statement, stressing that they were completely honest with Roth and never led him to believe that he was guaranteed to be the next lead singer. With Gary Cherone (1997 - 1999) The band recruited Gary Cherone, the frontman of the defunct Boston-based band Extreme. The result of their collaboration was the experimental Van Halen III. Many songs were longer and more ethereal ("Once"), more thought-provoking ("How Many Say I," with Eddie on vocals). These changes alienated Van Halen with Gary Cheronemany fans who preferred the band's older rock while failing to attract new fans. Sales were lackluster by the band's standards — yet the VHIII album peaked at #4 on the US charts (it was Gold certified), and produced a hit, "Without You". No tracks from the album ever appeared on the pop music charts. The song "Fire in the Hole" appeared on the Lethal Weapon 4 soundtrack. Also in 1998 Eddie Van Halen performed solo guitar work in a song on The Legend of 1900 soundtrack with Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) on vocals. Following a poorly attended but well received and widespread tour, Van Halen returned to the studio. In early 1999, the band started work on the follow up to III, rumoured to be called Love Again. Working titles of demo tracks included "Left for Dead," "River Wide," "Say Uncle," "You Wear it Well," "More Than Yesterday," "I Don't Miss You...Much," "Love Divine," and "From Here, Where Do We Go?". Departure of Cherone The new Van Halen album was unfinished when Cherone left amicably in November 1999. Citing musical differences, it is also likely III's sales and critical reception had an impact too. Touring with Cherone, regardless of his charisma, had proven disappointing in terms of attendance also. Unlike the previous two singers, there was no bad blood between him and the band and they remained in contact. Speculation about the return of Roth, as when Hagar left, returned. Without a singer: Four years of silence (2000 - 2004) From 2000 to early 2004, no official statements were made by Van Halen and no music released. However, information about members, past and present, trickled in. The Van Halen brothers continued writing at 5150 studios, Gary Cherone recorded an album and toured with new band Tribe of Judah. Hagar and Roth continued their careers. On July 4, 2004, Roth performed with the Boston Pops at Boston's annual Pops Goes the Fourth celebration. Sammy Hagar remained active, releasing five albums and creating his own merchandising brand Cabo Wabo, which lends its name to his line of tequila, as well as his franchise of cantinas. He reunited with Montrose in 2003 and 2005 for a few performances. Hagar maintained contact with Michael Anthony, often playing with him. Despite quietness within Van Halen, Anthony stayed busy with merchandising projects (such as his signature Yamaha bass) and set up a website. He became involved with the annual music industry NAMM Show. Eddie Van Halen had hip surgery in 1999, but recovered. In 2000, the band worked in secret with David Lee Roth at 5150, writing new music, before falling out again. Eddie kept quiet, but was at the LAPD charity golf tournament during May 2001. He gave an interview with Maximum Golf Magazine in July 2001. Little news followed, and any band progress would have been interrupted on October 15, 2001, when Eddie and his wife of 21 years, actress Valerie Bertinelli, separated (though the couple only filed for divorce on December 8, 2005). In November 2001, Anthony claimed Roth had been working with the band again for a few months, but lawyers had shut it down. Strangely, Anthony later denied this statement. More positively, Eddie successfully underwent cancer treatment and announced his recovery on Van Halen's website in May 2002. In 2002, Warner Bros. dropped Van Halen, after working with them since 1978. Eddie's only live performances during this period was joining Mountain to play "Never in My Life" in August 2002, and a private audience jam at NAMM January 2003. (This took place at the Peavey booth. At the time, Peavey was authorized to manufacture Eddie's signature "Wolfgang" model guitar. Word quickly spread through the NAMM show that Eddie was to play at the Peavey booth and the booth became packed. Eddie showed up late and drunk. When he finally appeared, he was incoherent. Peavey founder and CEO, Hartley Peavey, was furious. Shortly after this, Peavey lost its license to produce the "official" Van Halen guitar and Fender, which had purchased Charvel-Jackson, was awarded the license, but the guitar produced was a copy of Eddie's earlier Strat-style guitars, available in three models: white with black stripes, red white and black and yellow on black). In the summer of 2002, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar teamed up in the Song For Song, the Heavyweight Champs of Rock and Roll tour (also known as the 'Sans-Halen' or 'Sam & Dave' Tour). It drew very large crowds. In an interview, Roth contrasted his personality with Hagar's, saying "He's the kind of guy you go out with to split a bottle with a friend. I'm the kind of guy you go out with if you want to split your friend with a bottle." Michael Anthony guested with Hagar's band numerous times, The Waboritas, and sometimes even sang lead vocals. He never played with Roth. Gary Cherone appeared on occasion. Hagar released a live album (Hallelujah), featuring vocals by Mike and Gary, and a documentary DVD, Long Road to Cabo, about touring with Roth. Next, Hagar joined with Journey guitarist Neal Schon to form a side project, Planet Us. Along with Michael Anthony and Deen Castronovo (also of Journey) on drums. The band only recorded two songs and played live a few times before dissolving when Hagar and Anthony rejoined Van Halen. Also in this period, rumours that Anthony had been fired cropped up - despite his name being included in messages 'from the band' on their website. His official website denied the rumours, though it was later revealed that on the Van Halen III album Anthony only recorded three tracks, and subsequently his position became tenuous (it relied on Hagar's demands that he remain in 2004). In 2006 his departure was confirmed. Reunion with Hagar (2004 - 2005) Van Halen during their 2004 reunion period, left to right: Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van HalenDuring January 2003, the VHND (Van Halen News Desk) website reported a rumour that Sammy Hagar was secretly working with the Van Halens. No official confirmation came for a long time. In late March 2004, Van Halen and Sammy Hagar announced that Hagar would reunite with the band for a Greatest Hits album release and a Summer concert tour of the USA. In July 2004, Van Halen released their second Greatest Hits compilation (a double album, unlike the first), featuring three new songs with Hagar: "It's About Time", "Up For Breakfast", and "Learning to See". These songs were newly written specifically for the compilation album by the band, though it would later be revealed Anthony had no role in their writing (despite being credited) and that Eddie Van Halen, not Anthony played bass. Though it was the only new album since the band's first Greatest Hits, no songs with Gary Cherone from Van Halen III were included. It was certified platinum in the USA in August 2004. The summer tour grossed almost $55 million, and Pollstar listed Van Halen in the top 10 grossing tours of 2004. Most of the concerts received positive feedback from professional reviewers. On some shows, Eddie's son Wolfgang came onstage and played guitar with his father during 316 a song dedicated to his son Wolfgang, taking it's name from his birthday. However, serious problems surfaced. It was also revealed in Rolling Stone magazine that promoters had lost money on the tour. Many fans complained that tickets were overpriced (sometimes exceeding $200 for the best views), and few shows were actually sold out. Reports from the first half of the tour were largely positive. Later however, there were stories of Eddie being drunk and playing poorly also circulated, particularly later in the tour. The most widely reported alcohol-related performance issue occurred during the band's first night in Chicago at the United Center when Eddie, staggering about, repeatedly tripped on his guitar cable, causing his guitar to become unplugged eighteen times. As a result, towards the middle of the set, Hagar asked Eddie's guitar tech to come onstage and follow Ed around to keep re-plugging the guitar. Also notable was Eddie stopping in the middle of his Eruption solo, lying down on stage and telling the audience in a slurred voice, "I'm sorry folks, I done run outta gas." He lay there for several seconds before standing back up and continuing. At the end of the bands final show of the tour, in Tucson, Eddie smashed one of his guitars on stage and quickly walked off stage. Second Departure of Hagar After the tour Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony admitted that Eddie Van Halen had problems with alcohol during the tour that affected everyone involved. Hagar stated that he was "done with Van Halen" and wished that everyone would have "taken it more seriously". Despite this, Eddie later described himself as 'satisfied' with the tour. After the tour ended, Hagar returned to his solo band The Waboritas, and Anthony appeared with him on tour occasionally. The band began to break down after Hagar left again. In December 2005 Michael Anthony revealed in an interview with Mark & Brian that he hadn't talked with the Van Halens and was unsure of their plans. Reunion with Roth (2006 - present) Rumours of a David Lee Roth reunion re-emerged (as they did whenever the band lacked a singer) and on January 3, 2006, Roth explained during an interview that he spoke to Alex Van Halen the previous week and a reunion was "inevitable". However, he also said that Eddie Van Halen was "off in his own little world" recently. Following this, the press frequently interviewed the band, though Van Halen avoided reunion discussions. When asked if any problems occurred with Sammy Hagar during the 2004 tour Eddie Van Halen answered "Sammy is Sammy, and for the most part that's just fine". There was no mention of a reunion with Roth but there was a sense of 'completeness' of work with Hagar. Roth persisted with suggestions of a reunion, saying "People want the reunion." and "No one will pay respect to what any of us do [musically] until we get the reunion out of the way.". Roth continued to refer to a reunion, and in late May 2006 told Billboard.com "There's contact between the two camps". On June 3rd Michael Anthony began a successful tour with Hagar. They toured as "The Other Half" (a reference of them being the 'other half' of Van Halen to the Van Halen brothers), with Anthony singing lead vocals sometimes. In what may be a response to this, reminding people Van Halen still existed, on June 19, the Van Halen brothers jumped onstage with Kenny Chesney at The Home Depot Center performing "Jump" and "You Really Got Me". This unusual performance was their first since 2004. This was followed by another Eddie Van Halen performance in July 19 2006, at the House of Petals in Los Angeles, playing new material. He followed this with an announcement on July 27 2006 that some of his new music would be released on the soundtrack for pornography film Sacred Sin. This would be the first recording by the band's leader since Best of Both Worlds. Wolfgang Van Halen, the band's bassist as of 2006, in 2004 playing guitar on stage during Van Halen's tour. Departure of Michael Anthony Michael Anthony's recent treatment reached the public in March 2006. He spoke to Japanese rock magazine Burrn!, claiming the brothers did not want him on the 2004 reunion - Hagar did (and wouldn't play without Anthony), but he had to agree to be paid less. He wasn't involved in the new songs on Best of Both Worlds and only recorded three tracks for III. On September 8, 2006 Howard Stern's Eddie Van Halen live interview broke the band's long silence. Eddie said he was willing to reunite with Roth, and revealed a solo album in the works. Michael Anthony's departure was confirmed, with Eddie's son Wolfgang taking his role. Wolfgang had played guitar alongside his father on some 2004 concerts. When queried about The Other Half tour, Eddie said Anthony could 'do what he wants' now. This shocked and offended many fans. With Roth and Eddie Van Halen both wanting a reunion and the bass slot filled the stage was set. On October 25 2006 Melodirock's website announced tour plans. Hall of Fame Induction, Reunion tour planned and cancelled, Eddie goes into rehab On October 30, 2006 Van Halen and R.E.M. led the ballot for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Despite having been eligible for several years, the band had yet to be balloted. In November, Eddie's spokesperson Janie Liszewski claimed the Van Halen family were writing/rehearsing for a Summer 2007 tour. Subsequently the announcement was confirmed on Billboard magazine's website on November 9th. The Van Halen website however remained in the state it had been in since the Hagar reunion. On December 11 2006 Eddie Van Halen stated to Guitar World magazine that David Lee Roth had been directly invited to rejoin the band. However, on December 28 Roth announced that he had not talked to Eddie in two years, and a reunion with Van Halen could result in a "NASCAR-style wreck," or "Jerry Springer style fight". He did not however, say if he would rejoin the band or not. News from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally slipped out on January 8, 2007. Van Halen were to be an inductee. Along with the Van Halen brothers, former members Anthony, Hagar and Roth were to be inducted. Billboard announced on January 24 2007 that Van Halen would reunite with David Lee Roth for a US tour. This was confirmed shortly on the official Van Halen website. The Van-Halen-News-Desk announced on February 15 2007 that a Van Halen "Best Of (1978-1984)", a single-disc compilation of Van Halen's David Lee Roth era, would be released by April 3rd. This was to coincide with the Hall of Fame induction and would feature exclusive content (liner notes, remastered songs etc). In late February 2007, updates in response to reports arrived in a flood. First, on the 21 February Melodicrock.com stated "I am told that this postponement should be just that - a temporary situation that can be sorted so that the dates that had been arranged can be re-booked" and "Also, the VHND's own sources are telling us not to worry and that the tour is indeed going to happen." Two days later The Los Angeles Times reported a very different story. It claimed the tour was shut down as was the "Best Of (1978-1984)" CD. Meanwhile, Billboard.com's sources said that the reason to postpone the 2007 summer reunion tour indefinitely was not due to any internal strife between band members - a valid concern given the band's previous reunion attempts. Supposedly the tour would happen, but exactly when was unknown. No information on if rehearsals was mentioned, and the band's official website was not updated. As the band's Hall of Fame induction drew nearer, media focus was more on that than the reunion. Velvet Revolver would induct them into the Hall of Fame, and speak on the band's behalf. No one knew who from Van Halen would appear, and if they would perform. Eddie checks out of rehab Eddie Van Halen in Guitar World in May 2007, after leaving rehab healthy and free of alcohol problemsOn March 8th, 2007 Eddie left a note on the official Van Halen website saying he has entered a rehabilitation center. "Some of the issues surrounding the 2007 Van Halen tour are within my ability to change and some are not". It has never been stated exactly what other issues might have gotten in the way of the reunion although Eddie's alcohol problem seems to have been a major one. "As far as my rehab is concerned, it is within my ability to change and change for the better". Whether or not the tour will proceed and the other issues can be resolved is unknown. March 12, 2007: The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar were the only inductees who showed up (ironically neither are in Van Halen anymore). Michael Anthony made a point of thanking the band's third singer, Gary Cherone, who was not inducted. Velvet Revolver played a song to represent the absent members of the band, which was followed by Anthony and Hagar playing "Why Can't This Be Love" with Paul Schaffer. Afterwards, at a press conference, Hagar said that he would love to work with Van Halen again. He also said that he hopes the band would do a "Dave reunion" with Roth first. Along with the announcement on March 8th 2007, a further change was been made to the official Van Halen website. The logo at the top of the page changed to the original band logo. This encouraged the idea of the reunion occurring later in the future, as the band went back to their roots. On Saturday, April 21 2007 Eddie Van Halen served as an Honorary Race Official for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at PIR . He joined Sperber on the pre-race stage greeting drivers as they were introduced. In addition to duties as a Race Official, he unveiled a limited edition Fender Stratocaster as well as a limited edition EVH brand Frankenstein replica guitar for the race's winner. On May 24th Eddie posted a note to the Van Halen website confirming that he had exited rehab. Influence on culture, music and business The band's most successful period, 1979 - 1985[citation needed] influenced many hard rock musicians. Both their 1978 debut and 1984 albums sold over 10 million copies. Both are regarded as milestones in rock and roll music, with widely emulated innovations (The Van Halen track "Runnin' with the Devil" and 1984's "Jump" are listed as two of the top 500 most influential songs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The Kinks had a commercial revival purely because Van Halen covered one of their songs. Every subsequent Van Halen album after their debut would breach the top 6 spot on the pop charts. The Van Halen track "Everybody Wants Some" appears in the movie Better Off Dead. While Lane Meyer (John Cusack) works in a Burger restaurant wishing he were elsewhere, he imagines the food singing and dancing the popular track via claymation. The Van Halen track "Eruption" showcased a solo technique called tapping, utilizing both left and right hands on the guitar neck (tapping also exists and did for a long time in its more traditional one-handed form, involving just hammer-ons and pull-offs). "Eruption" propelled Eddie Van Halen to popularity among guitarists (though infact tapping had existed prior to this).[citation needed] Before the release of the first album, Eddie hid his technique by playing solos with his back to the audience. Eddie used a volume technique in the instrumental "Cathedral". He hammered notes on the fretboard with one hand while rolling the volume knob with the other. This altered the attack and decay of the notes so they mimicked the sound of keyboards. This "volume swells" sound was originally popularized by 70's progressive rock bands like Yes and Rush, but was usually performed with a volume pedal, at a slower pace. He did two takes, and the volume knob froze completely at the end of the second take due to the heat generated from rolling it on and off so frequently. "Cathedral" also employs an electronic delay, with the delay set at 400 milliseconds (ms) and the delayed note set at the same amplitude as the original note. Most of the composition's notes come from hammering on the notes of a major 5th string barre chord (ascending and then descending) and replicating this pattern up and down the neck of the guitar. The end result of this technique made the composition sound as if it is being played on a church organ - hence, the song title. Van Halen also introduced the guitar world to the band's signature "Brown sound," a nickname given to the sonic result of Eddie's guitar/amp combination and technique. With Templeman's warm production, Van Halen produced a distinctive and popular tone. The second incarnation of Van Halen also saw broadened use of the Van Halen brand, as they expanded their reach into other media, with high-production films, live concert footage, and even their own cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. If David Lee Roth's innovative, over-the-top style turned Van Halen from a member of the hard rock pack to its leader, Hagar's more conservative 'working man' persona turned Van Halen into a franchise and an icon. Each of the four studio albums released during the Hagar era reached number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts. Van Halen pioneered the way for the modern "Rock and Roll Show" with their extensive use of the concert technical contract rider. Although contract riders had existed before, Van Halen's use of them to specify their "wish list" (production, transportation, personal requirements etc.) was new and established a standard practice that is now used routinely throughout the music industry. As one of the first major bands with a full stage show to appear in smaller cities, Van Halen had an extensive set of technical requirements including power availability and stage construction details that a venue had to comply with. Many venues in these markets had not previously dealt large-scale shows, and were not equipped to handle the massive stage and light show, sometimes resulting in damage to band equipment and the venue, once nearly killing a roadie. The band's demands were not limited to technical issues: their infamous contract rider specified that a bowl of M&M candies, with all of the brown ones removed, was to be available in the band's dressing room. According to David Lee Roth (from his autobiography, Crazy from the Heat), this was not due to an antipathy for brown chocolate candy, but was listed with the technical portion of the contract to check up on whether the venue and technical staff were correctly reading and honouring the technical and safety provisions in the contract. On arrival, if brown M&M's were found in the dressing room, then the band had reason to believe other parts of the contract were also not being fulfilled, and subsequently, every line of the contract was to be double-checked, to ensure safety prior to and during the show. Influential American punk trio The Minutemen recorded a 40-second cover version of "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" for their landmark double album Double Nickels on the Dime (only the third verse, a guitar solo and the "hey, hey, hey!" outro were used) - an irony considering that, according to Roth, the song originated as an affectionate parody of punk rock when it was first written. Rapper Tone Loc used uncredited samples from Van Halen's "Jamie's Cryin'" extensively on his hit "Wild Thing," but was not sued by the band; in Alex Van Halen's words, "It was 1987, who knew?" 2 Live Crew later sampled the riff of "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" for their song "The Fuck Shop" on their infamous 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be. Dance music act Apollo 440 sampled the guitar intro from "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" for their 1997 single entitled "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub". Eddie Van Halen is also ranked #70 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The solo in "Eruption" was also voted #2 on Guitar World magazine's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. Despite the band's clear and important influence on rock music, both collectively and, in the case of Eddie Van Halen and the first two vocalists, as individuals their fame has fallen away greatly since the mid 90s. Following Hagar's departure in 1996, the band received press attention about the controversy of his exit from the band. Since then, a poor selling album/tour (Van Halen III) with vocalist Gary Cherone, no public activity at all, and an overpriced (and thus, largely unaffordable), non-profitable reunion tour with Hagar in which Eddie Van Halen's sobriety was questionable throughout. In 2006, the band's long-time bassist Michael Anthony was forced from the band. With all the disagreements between Eddie and his vocalists, with Alex quietly backing up his brother, Anthony was often seen as the voice of reason within the band. Their arrangement of the song "You Really Got Me" (performed by other artists) was featured in Guitar Hero II. (Credit Wikipeadia)
  3. ZZ Top

    I like ZZ Top's style. And their beards!!! Any favorite songs? I like Sharp Dessed Man and Give All Your Lovin Bio ZZ Top is an American blues rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The group members are Billy Gibbons (guitar, lead vocals), Dusty Hill (bass, lead vocals), and Frank Beard (drums, percussion). They hold the distinction of being among the few rock bands still composed of its original members after more than 35 years and until September 2006, the same manager/producer, Bill Ham. They reached the peak of their commercial success in the 1970s and 1980s, scoring many hit songs during that era, but they remain together today and are still touring and releasing albums. ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 2004. Summarizing their music, Cub Koda wrote, "As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers; Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom ... while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support." Their song lyrics often feature sexual innuendo and humor. Gibbons and Hill are also famous for their custom guitars, many of which were co-designed by Gibbons with master luthier John Bolin of Bolin Guitars. Hill requests that his basses have a similar neck profile to the 1950's Fender Precision Bass he used extensively in the early days of the band. Nearly as well-known as their music is the group's appearance: Gibbons and Hill are always pictured wearing sunglasses (a nod to their 1979 song "Cheap Sunglasses"), similar if not matching clothing, and their trademark chest-length beards (also referred to as "Texas goatees"); Beard sports a mustache, sometimes with a beard, and sometimes without. In 1984, the Gillette Company reportedly offered Gibbons and Hill US$1 million apiece to shave their beards for a television commercial, but they declined. The origin of the band's name was not officially known for many years. Some theories included: the two brands of rolling paper, Zig-Zag and Top; a tribute to blues legend Z.Z. Hill; Z-shaped barn-door braces Gibbons once saw at a farm; and/or Billy Gibbons seeing the two words running together on a dilapidated bill board. The real origin, as told by Billy Gibbons and also recorded in his book (Rock + Roll Gearhead), is derived from the name of blues musician B.B. King. They wanted to call themselves Z.Z. King, but that sounded too similar to their blues legend hero. They figured that "King" was at the "top" so thus settled on ZZ Top. History Early years The men who would form ZZ Top had played in several different Texas-based groups. Notable were Moving Sidewalks with Gibbons, and The American Blues with Hill and Beard. They joined forces in late 1969: at first, Billy invited Frank for his project of a blues rock trio, and then, when they were looking for a new bassist, Beard proposed his former bandmate, Dusty. They played their first show in February, 1970 and toured almost continually for several years. Their first two albums were recorded at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas. In 1973, they started recording at Ardent Studios in Memphis[3] for their third album, Tres Hombres (1973). They first gained wide acclaim with it, released on London Records. It contained the classic song "La Grange", referencing the bordello that is also the subject of the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The band continued touring, recording, and releasing albums until 1977, when they took an extended hiatus. Their long-time manager/producer/image maker Bill Ham used this time to negotiate a deal that allowed the band to keep control of their previous recordings, which would be distributed by their new label, Warner Bros. Records. They reunited two and a half years later in order to start recording under the Warners contract. After encountering the extraordinary appearance of a mysterious bearded stranger clad in a long duster coat, in the Red Lion Motor Inn at Missoula, Montana, both Hill and Gibbons grew similar chest-length beards, in tribute, that quickly became a part of their own image. Eliminator and 1980s They reached new heights of popularity with the 1983 album Eliminator, boosted to prominence by memorable music videos for the tracks "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man" each of which featured a small bright red 1933 Ford Coupe 3 window hotrod called The Eliminator and a trio of mysterious, beautiful women who travel around helping various people. The album also featured a distinctive synthesizer-laced sound—a rarity in the blues rock genre—which added a modern, electronic edge to the music, and helped the album become successful and a fan favorite. Eliminator remains their most successful album to date. Their next album, Afterburner, mostly featured the same blend of synthesizers, blues rock and the use of sequencers. But on subsequent albums, less and less synth- and sequencer-influenced music is heard. An occasional song with those elements and instruments is included on recent albums as a nod to their past. In 1985, they released the three-disc set, The ZZ Top Six Pack. When Warner chose to remaster six select albums from 1970 to 1981, they (along with the members of ZZ Top) remixed the back catalog to make it sound like their new music output. All the drum tracks were re-recorded and other random digital effects were applied. In trying to fit six albums on three discs, some tracks were faded out sooner than their original release versions. At the same time, individual remixed cd releases were released. The 1990s Recycler was released in 1990, and proved to be the band's last album under their contract with Warner Records. Recycler was also the last of the albums often considered a distinct trilogy in the ZZ Top catalogue. It marked a move back towards a more guitar-driven blues sound which continued in later albums, losing some of the synthesizer sounds and pop bounce of the previous two albums. This move did not entirely suit the fanbase built up by Eliminator and Afterburner, and while Recycler did achieve platinum status, it never matched the multi-platinum sales of Eliminator and Afterburner. In 1993, ZZ Top inducted Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1992, ZZ Top signed a five-disc deal with RCA Records. Sales were good, but not up to earlier standards, and many fans (or, as they refer to themselves, "fanzz") feel that the recordings of this era are as artistically strong as the earlier London and Warner Bros. recordings, but have expressed disappointment with RCA's promotion of these releases. RCA impresario Clive Davis wanted to do a collaboration record (in the mode of Carlos Santana's successful Supernatural) for their 2003 release Mescalero. As per an interview in Goldmine magazine, singers Pink, Dave Matthews and Wilco were among the artists slated for the project. The band members declined this offer, and subsequently were shuffled to second-tier status by Davis and RCA. 2000 and beyond In July 2000, while on tour in Europe, Hill was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which forced the cancellation of several dates in that tour. Hill has since recovered. A comprehensive collection of recordings from the London and Warner Bros. years entitled Chrome, Smoke & BBQ was released in 2003. In 2004, ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones gave the induction speech, after which ZZ Top gave a brief performance, playing "La Grange" and "Tush." Expanded and remastered versions of the original studio albums from '70's and '80's are currently in production (removing the digital remixes of the Six Pack compilation). So far only two of these CDs have been released (Tres Hombres and Fandango!). Marketed as "Remastered and Expanded," both CDs include additional live tracks which were not present on the original recordings. As of 2006, it was reported that ZZ Top were recording their 15th studio album, however this album failed to appear, and on September 17, 2006 the band ended their contract with RCA Records and left their manager Bill Ham, president of Lone Wolf management. No reasons were given for these changes. In December 2006, Sanctuary Management added ZZ Top to its roster, however the band is still not currently signed to a label. An article on Billboard in May of 2007 quotes Dusty as saying that the band is eager to sign a new contract and resume recording in the near future, but no hints at timescales have been made. Dusty did suggest that a live tour DVD is in the works. Whatever the outcome of contract negotiations, the band will have to complete their current tour before any new studio recordings take place. In an later interview on VH1's Top 20 Countdown, the band said "A new album will be coming out as soon as our tours are done and when we get a record deal." The band were honorees at the second annual VH1 Rock Honors on May 24, 2007, along with Ozzy Osbourne, Genesis and Heart. Current tour and cancellations The band's most recent (and currently ongoing) tour was kicked off in the intimate surroundings of the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Since then, they have moved back on to larger venues, and their 2007 USA tour will keep them on the road until the end of August, with only the month of July being free of US tour dates. July was originally intended for a whistlestop European tour, however this has been cancelled for medical reasons. A press release issued by the band quotes Dusty's otolaryngologist, who stated that Dusty was to receive treatment for a benign inner ear growth affecting his hearing. This press release confirmed rumours of the European cancellation, which had been circulating in northern European newspapers for several days. At present, there is no indication that any dates in the USA will be affected by Dusty's treatment. Their cars and bikes Billy F Gibbons is a fan and avid collector of custom cars and bikes. His custom vehicles were a mainstay for the earlier ZZ Top videos and were also used for promotion. The Eliminator The red 1933 Ford 3-window coupé Hot Rod 'The Eliminator' was customized by Don Thelen in Paramount. The car was featured in a video trilogy from the album "Eliminator", consisting of "Sharp Dressed Man", "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Legs". The car was also featured in various custom car magazines around the globe. 'The Eliminator' gets eliminated by two wheel loaders in the video "Sleeping Bag" from the "Afterburner" album, while it saves a young couple from being captured by the bad boys. The car gets reborn as a mix between the Hot Rod and the Space Shuttle, as shown on the cover of the "Afterburner" album. When the Eliminator Shuttle rockets into space, controlled by the ZZ Top crew, a text appears "to be continued...". But in the next video "Stages", the shuttle only has a very brief showing at the end with the text "Stay tuned...". In the following video "Rough Boy" the shuttle plays a larger role as the sole customer in a car wash space station. This video closes the "Afterburner" trilogy with the ominous text "Stay clean...". The Eliminator has one last (so far) and almost imperceptible appearance at the beginning of the video "Burger Man" from the "Recycler" album. A 1/24 scale plastic model of the Eliminator was produced by Monogram under license. Leapin' Limo Based on a 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak, the car was stretched 40feet, painted in black with ZZ Top graphics and used in the video for "Velcro Fly" from the "Afterburner" album. CadZZilla Based on a 1948 Cadillac Sedanette, the CadZZilla is a low-slung, sleek and dark custom car built by Boyd Coddington and designed by Larry Erickson. The name is a contraction of Cadillac, ZZ Top and Godzilla. It wasn't featured as prominently in ZZ Top's videos as 'The Eliminator', but it appeared in "My Head's in Mississippi" and in "Burger Man" - pulling out of the parking lot of a diner at the very beginning of the video. When CadZZilla has left the frame, it reveals a brief view of 'The Eliminator' parked besides the diner. An artist's rendition of CadZZilla was used on the cover of the "Recycler" album. In the video for "Doubleback", which uses Back to the Future Part III footage, CadZZilla appears at the final show down and similarly to the early Eliminator videos, three sexy women get out of the car and solve the problem. When the car drives off, a view of its rear license plate is shown: "I 8 Tokyo" - I ate Tokyo, a reference to Godzilla. The car was well-received in the custom scene. Gray Baskerville, Senior Editor of the Hot Rod Magazine even named it as one of his favourite custom cars ever, and called it the epitome of the "Dare to Be Different" era. The intense customization cost around 900.000 US$ at the time. CadZZilla was shown outside the USA, for example 2005 at the 14th Annual Yokohama HOT ROD・Custom Show. CadZZilla's timeless looks motivated and inspired Richard Ferlazzo to design the Holden Efijy showcar. Scale models in 1/24 and 1/64 were produced under license. Other cars and bikes HogZZilla To accompany his CadZZilla, Gibbons decided to have two Harley Davidson motorbikes converted to matching custom bikes. The name is a contraction of the Harley Davidson nickname HOG, ZZ Top and Godzilla. Kopperhed Based on a Fifties' Ford sedan, radical re-modelling of the roof creates the look of a 3-window coupé. Mambo Coupé Based on a 1936 Ford Coupé. Slampala Based on a 1962 Chevrolet Impala. The modern air ride suspension allows the car to be set to extremely low ground clearance. The scene term for this is "slammed", hence the name Slampala, a contraction of Slammed Impala. 8 Ball B Based on a 1992 BMW 325i with a louvred hood/bonnet and distinct Pool-Billiard theme. (Credit to Wikipeadia)
  4. Ozzy Osbourne

    Ozzy http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/s56378.jpg Ozzy Osbourne (born John Michael Osbourne, December 3, 1948 in Aston, Birmingham, England) is the lead vocalist of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, a popular solo artist, and the star of the reality show, The Osbournes. As a solo artist, Osbourne has sold over 30 million albums in the US, and 75 million albums worldwide. Two albums, Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and No More Tears (1991), are certified quadruple platinum, for sales of over 4 million copies in the US. Early life Osbourne spent most of his early life in Birmingham, England. He was born on December 3, 1948 in abject poverty into a family of six children. Osbourne reportedly suffered from learning disabilities (believed to be dyslexic), making school life difficult. He sought refuge in music, eventually becoming the singer of a local band, Rare Breed. Ozzy Osbourne would later discover a band with former class mate Tony Iommi and audition for lead singer. Iommi did not like Ozzy's voice after hearing it in school musicals, and was reluctant to let him join. However, as Ozzy was liked by the other two members, Iommi was finally persuaded to let him join. During this time psychedelic rock was enormously popular. To distinguish themselves from the norm, Iommi and his partners decided to play a heavy blues inspired style of music laced with gloomy lyrics. One day during rehearsals, the band noticed people queuing up outside a cinema where a horror film was being shown, and bassist Geezer Butler observed how curious it is that people like to be frightened. After reading an occult book that Osbourne had let Butler borrow, Butler had a dream of a dark figure at the end of his bed. Afterwards, Butler told this story to Osbourne, who wrote the lyrics to "Black Sabbath", their first song, or one of their first songs, in a darker vein. It was the prototype of the songs that became their main style later in their career. After learning Earth was already in use, the band changed their name to "Black Sabbath" as well. Black Sabbath Black Sabbath: Ozzy (right) with Tony Iommi in 1973Despite only a modest investment from US record label Warner Bros. Records, Black Sabbath met with swift and enduring success. Built around Tony Iommi's guitar riffs, Geezer Butler's lyrics, and topped by Osbourne's eerie vocals, early records such as their self titled debut, Paranoid, and Master of Reality are now considered definitive heavy metal. Many of the group's early singles, such as "War Pigs", "Paranoid", and "Iron Man", continue to draw significant radio airplay. Black Sabbath has sold over 70 million albums since its inception and Osbourne himself continues to perform its songs as a solo artist. Early solo career In 1979, Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath largely for unreliability due to drug abuse. He was replaced by former Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio. Divorce from his first wife Thelma and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder added to the singer's problems finally sending him into a deep depression. Osbourne became a veritable recluse and took to spending weeks alone locked in his hotel room. On an errand to collect an overdue fee, Black Sabbath manager Don Arden's daughter, Sharon Arden, discovered Osbourne brooding in his room and convinced him to restart his life. In the late 1970s, the band Necromandus rehearsed with Ozzy Osbourne and briefly became the first incarnation of his Blizzard of Ozz solo project. The Ozzy Osbourne Band began life as The Blizzard of Ozz. The first album was to be titled eponymously, but was later changed to Blizzard of Ozz featuring Ozzy Osbourne. The record company would eventually title the record Ozzy Osbourne, with the album simply annotated Blizzard of Ozz. After this, the band's name was simplified to The Ozzy Osbourne Band. Drummer Lee Kerslake (of Uriah Heep) and bassist/lyricist Bob Daisley (of Rainbow), however, still refer to that era as the "Blizzard of Ozz". Ozzy met with considerable success on his first solo effort, the debut collection selling well with heavy rock fans. A second album, Diary of a Madman, was considered by some to be an instant rock classic, and featured more of Bob Daisley's gifted songwriting and impressive guitar work by Randy Rhoads (who was ranked 85th greatest guitarist of all time by the Rolling Stone Magazine). Its release met with controversy, however. Although the songs were written and performed by the same four band members who created Blizzard of Ozz, the internal album art and credits were seemingly given to Osbourne's new touring band consisting of the singer and Rhoads, along with bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) and drummer Tommy Aldridge, formerly of Black Oak Arkansas. Also not shown was keyboardist Don Airey, who played on the first three Ozzy Osbourne albums but was not credited until the third album, Bark at the Moon. In March 1982, while in Florida for the follow-up album Diary of a Madman tour, and a week away from playing Madison Square Garden in New York City, a light aircraft taken without its owner's consent carrying guitarist Randy Rhoads crashed while performing low passes over the band's tour bus. In a prank turned deadly, the left wing of the aircraft clipped the bus and crashed onto a tree and finally a nearby house, killing Rhoads as well as the pilot, Andrew Aycock, and the band's hairdresser, Rachel Youngblood. On autopsy, cocaine was found to be present in Aycock's urine.[3]Learning of the death of his close friend and band mate, Osbourne once again fell into deep depression. The record company gave Osbourne a break from performing to mourn for his late band member, but Ozzy stopped work for only one week. Ex-Gillan guitarist Bernie Torme was the first guitarist to replace Randy once the tour resumed. Torme however, found the pressure of learning the band's songs so quickly and the idea of appearing before fans still mourning the loss of Rhoads unsettling. His tenure with the band would last less than one month. During an audition for guitarists in a hotel room, Ozzy discovered Brad Gillis. The tour continued, culminating in the release of the 1982 live album, 'Speak of the Devil' recorded at the Ritz in New York City. A live tribute album was later released in which Osbourne spoke of his relationship with Rhoads. This album would also feature a studio song by Randy, taken from studio outtakes, called "Dee," in honor of his mother. Controversy Ozzy Osbourne found himself under fire in his controversial concert and stage acts that some parental-teacher associations, media content watchdog activist groups, including many Christian groups accused Osbourne of being a "negative" influence for teenagers. They claimed messages on his songs, actions (the infamous "horned hand") and stage decorations are portrayals of "devil worship" and glorified Satanism, but Osbourne denies these accusations and he claims it was done in good fun, symbolised teenage rebellion and for shock value. Ozzy actually flashed a peace sign with each hand; Ronnie James Dio was the one who was known for flashing "Satanic" symbols. Ozzy was thought to have made songs that are held to promote or condone suicide. In the early 1980s, California teenager John McCollum committed suicide while listening to an Ozzy Osbourne record through his stereo earphones, during the song Suicide Solution, a song about the dangers of alcohol abuse, when the sheriff found him already dead. Although McCollum suffered clinical depression, his parents reportedly sued Ozzy Osbourne (McCollum v. CBS Inc. (1988)) for their son's death, claiming there is a hidden message towards the end of the track which says "Get the gun, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot." Osbourne agreed to remove any pro-suicide references in his songs thereafter. Drug and animal abuse According to the press, Osbourne's antics progressively worsened during the 1980s; his alcoholism and drug abuse continued. He later underwent a number of treatments for alcoholism and drug abuse. After signing his first solo career record deal he came in to meet some of the people who worked at the record company. His plan was to release doves into the air to get people to notice him, but when no one noticed, he changed his plans. It is alleged that he grabbed one dove, bit its head off, then spat the head out. Then with blood still dripping from his lips a security guard came to remove him; on the way out he bit the head off another dove. Despite its controversy, this act has been parodied and alluded to several times throughout his career and is part of what made Ozzy Osbourne infamous. Osbourne admitted that, at the height of his drug addiction, he shot 34 cats: "I was taking drugs so much I was a fucker, The final straw came when I shot all our cats. We had about 34, and I went crazy and shot them all. My wife found me under the piano in a white suit, a shotgun in one hand and a knife in the other". While on tour in Texas, drunk already at 11am, he stopped to urinate by the Alamo. A police officer arrested him. Osbourne's alcohol problem also came to a very serious peak in 1989 after he assaulted his wife/manager Sharon. After he was arrested and released to perform drug rehabilitation to kick his addictions, their marriage continued stronger than ever.[citation needed] Years later in May 2005, Osbourne experienced tremors and linked them to his continuous drug abuse. He found out it was actually "Parkinsonian Syndrome", a non-progressive genetic condition, the symptoms of which are very similar to Parkinson's disease.[citation needed] Recovery In the 1980s and 1990s, Osbourne's career was an effort on two fronts: continuing to make music without Rhoads, and becoming sober. The 1981 concerts were recorded with a live album in mind. Entitled Speak of the Devil, known in the United Kingdom as Talk of the Devil, was originally planned to consist of live recordings from 1981, primarily from Osbourne's solo work. With news of Black Sabbath also about to release a live album titled "Live Evil" however, Osbourne and Sharon decided to pre-empt his former band's efforts, and the album ended up consisting entirely of Black Sabbath cover material, recorded with Gillis, bassist Rudy Sarzo, and drummer Tommy Aldridge. In the same Guitar Player interview where Brad Gillis discussed how he came to play for Ozzy, he discussed the live album, and admitted that everyone in the band wanted to rework some parts, but were not given the opportunity. Speak of the Devil was musically left alone. Ozzy later commented (inside the cover of "Tribute") "I don't give a fuck about that album. It was just a bunch of bullshit Sabbath covers." He also states that it was the recording company that wanted a new album, and that he was unwilling to release the tapes of performances live with Rhoads, believing this would dishonour his memory. In 1982, Osbourne was the guest vocalist on the Was (Not Was) pop dance track "Shake Your Head (Let's Go to Bed)" with Madonna performing backing vocals. Osbourne's cut was remixed and re-released in the early 1990s for a Was (Not Was) greatest hits album in Europe, and it cracked the UK pop chart. Madonna asked that her vocal not be restored for the hits package, so new vocals by Kim Basinger were added to complement Osbourne's lead. Jake E. Lee, formerly of Ratt and Rough Cutt, was a more successful recruit than Torme or Gillis, recording 1983's Bark at the Moon (co-writing the album with Bob Daisley, and also featuring Tommy Aldridge, and former Rainbow keyboard player Don Airey). 1986's The Ultimate Sin followed (with bassist Phil Soussan and drummer Randy Castillo), and touring behind both albums. Meanwhile, Osbourne was involved in a legal battle of his own. In late 1986, he was the target in the first of a series of US lawsuits brought against him, alleging that one of his songs, "Suicide Solution", drove two more American teenagers to commit suicide because of its "subliminal lyrics". The cases were decided in Osbourne's favour, essentially on the premise that Osbourne cannot be held accountable for a listener's actions. Also helping was the fact the song was clearly about alcohol abuse and suicide solution was a play on words. Soon after, Osbourne publicly acknowledged that he wrote "Suicide Solution" about his friend, AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, who died from alcohol abuse, and that solution referred to both alcohol as a solution to problems and as a chemical solution. Bob Daisley, however, asserts that he wrote this song and that it was about his concerns over Osbourne's own ongoing battle with substance abuse. Lee and Osbourne parted ways in 1987, however, reportedly due to musical differences. Osbourne continued to struggle with his chemical dependencies, and commemorated the fifth anniversary of Rhoads' death with Tribute, the live recordings from 1981 that had gone unreleased for years. In 1988, Ozzy appeared in The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years and told the director, Penelope Spheeris, that "sobriety fucking sucks." Meanwhile, Osbourne found his most enduring replacement for Rhoads to date â a guitarist named Zakk Wylde, plucked from a New Jersey gas station. Wylde joined Osbourne for his 1988 effort, No Rest for the Wicked, in which Castillo remained on drums and Daisley once more returned to co-writing/bass duties. The subsequent tour saw Osbourne reunited with erstwhile Black Sabbath bandmate Geezer Butler on bass, and a live EP (entitled Just Say Ozzy) featuring this lineup was released two years later. Geezer continued to tour with Ozzy for the subsequent four tours, and was a major stage presence throughout, playing as strongly as anyone since Rudy Sarzo. In 1989, Ozzy Osbourne performed as part of the Moscow Music Peace Festival. Later solo career and Black Sabbath reunion While very successful as a heavy metal act through the 1980s, Osbourne sustained commercial success into the 1990s, starting with 1991's No More Tears, which enjoyed much radio and MTV exposure. It also initiated a practice of bringing in outside composers to help pen Osbourne's solo material, instead of relying solely upon his recording ensemble to write and arrange the music. The album was mixed by veteran rock producer Michael Wagener, who also mixed the Live and Loud album which followed in 1993. It went platinum several times over, and ranked at number 10 on that year's Billboard rock charts. At this point Osbourne expressed his fatigue with the process of touring, and proclaimed his "retirement", which was to be short-lived. Osbourne's entire CD catalogue was remastered and reissued in 1995. Also that year, he released Ozzmosis and went on stage again, dubbing his concert performances "The Retirement Sucks Tour". A greatest hits package, The Ozzman Cometh was issued in 1998. Osbourne's biggest financial success of the 1990s was a venture named Ozzfest, created and managed by his wife/manager Sharon and assisted loosely by his son Jack. Ozzfest was a quick hit with metal fans, spurring up-and-coming groups like Incubus and Slipknot to broad exposure and commercial success. Some acts even had the pleasure to share the bill with a reformed Black Sabbath during the 1997 Ozzfest tour beginning in West Palm Beach, Florida. Osbourne reunited with the original members of Sabbath in 1997 and has performed periodically with the band ever since. Since its start, five million people have attended Ozzfest, which has grossed over US$100 million. The festival also helped promote many new hard rock and heavy metal acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s, including System of a Down, Drowning Pool, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Disturbed, HIM, Linkin Park, Atreyu, Papa Roach, Velvet Revolver, Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, Otep, and Slipknot. Up until the 2006 tour, Osbourne was always the headlining artist (either solo or with Black Sabbath) as the headliner, it has also featured other famous artists such as Danzig, Sepultura, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer,and Megadeth. Ozzfest also helped Osbourne to become the first hard rock star to hit US$50 million in merchandise sales. Osbourne's first album of new studio material in seven years, 2001's Down to Earth, met with only moderate success, as did its live follow up, Live at Budokan. On December 8, 2003, Osbourne was rushed into emergency surgery at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, England when he was involved in an accident involving the use of his all-terrain vehicle on his estate in Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire. Osbourne broke his collar bone, eight ribs, and a neck vertebra. An operation was performed to lift the collarbone, which was believed to be resting on a major artery and interrupting blood flow to the arm. Sharon later revealed that Osbourne had stopped breathing following the crash and was resuscitated by Osbourne's then personal bodyguard, Sam Ruston. While in the hospital, Osbourne achieved his first ever UK number one single, a duet of the Black Sabbath ballad, "Changes" with daughter Kelly. In doing so, he broke the record of the longest period between an artist's first UK chart appearance (with Black Sabbath's "Paranoid", number four in August 1970) and their first number one hit; a gap of 33 years. Since the accident, he has fully recovered and headlined the 2004 Ozzfest, where he again reunited with Black Sabbath. He has also turned his hand to writing a Broadway musical. The reputed topic is that of the Russian monk Grigory Rasputin, who held sway with Russia's last royal Romanov family. In 2005, he released a box set called Prince of Darkness. The first and second discs are collections of live performances, B-sides, demos and singles. The third disc contained duets and other odd tracks with other artists, including "Born to Be Wild" with Miss Piggy. The fourth disc is entirely new material where Ozzy covers his favourite songs by his biggest influences and favourite bands, including The Beatles, John Lennon, David Bowie and others. He and wife Sharon starred in yet another MTV show, this time a competition reality show entitled "Battle for Ozzfest". A number of yet unsigned bands send one member to compete in a challenge to win a spot on the 2005 Ozzfest and a possible recording contract. In 2004, Osbourne received an NME award for "godlike genius". Shortly after Ozzfest 2005, Osbourne announced that he will no longer headline Ozzfest. Although he announced his retirement from Ozzfest, Ozzy came back for one more year, 2006, albeit only closing for just over half the concerts, leaving the others to be closed by System of a Down (he also played the closing act for the second stage at the Randall's Island, NY performance on July 29). After the concert in Bristow, Virginia, Ozzy announced he will return for another year of Ozzfest in 2007. Although the cities, bands, and dates have not yet been confirmed [as of 2/24/07], according to the official website, tickets for the 2007 tour will be offered to fans free of charge. In 2005, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame along with Black Sabbath where he decided to moon the crowd because of their poor reception while they were playing. In March 2006, he said that he hopes to release a new studio album soon with long time on-off guitarist, Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society. In October 2006 it was announced that Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Vinny Appice, and Geezer Butler would be touring together again though not as Black Sabbath but rather under the moniker 'Heaven and Hell (the title of Dio's first Black Sabbath album). The response to the news on Ozzy's website was that Ozzy wished Tony and Ronnie well and that there was only one Sabbath. The new Ozzy album, titled Black Rain, was released on May 22, 2007.There are 10 all-new songs on the album, including "Countdown's Begun", "Not Going Away", and "Lay Your World On Me", about Sharon Osbourne's recent cancer battles, and it is Osbourne's first new studio album in almost six years. "I thought I'd never write again without any stimulation...But you know what? Instead of picking of the bottle I just got honest and said, 'I don't want life to go (to pieces)'", Osbourne stated in a Billboard interview. Ozzy performed one of the New songs which was called "I Don't Wanna Stop" live on WWE Smackdown. This was also the WWE Judgement day theme song. On May 24, 2007, Osbourne was honoured at the second annual VH1 Rock Honors, along with Genesis, Heart, and ZZ Top. It was announced on 18 May 2007 that Ozzy will be the first inductee into The Birmingham Walk Of Stars. In a ceremony to be conducted on 6th July a bronze star honouring Ozzy will be placed on Broad Street in his home city of Birmingham in England. Family and personal life Osbourne has been married twice and is the father of seven children. He was first married to Thelma Riley and adopted her son Elliot Kingsley (1966); together they had Jessica Starshine Osbourne Hobbs (20 January 1972) and Louis John Osbourne (1975). He later married Sharon Osbourne and had three children with her. They are Aimee Osbourne (2 September 1983), Kelly Osbourne (27 October 1984) and Jack Osbourne (8 November 1985). They also adopted Robert Marcato after his mother died. Osbourne also has two grandchildren, Isabelle and Harry from his daughter Jessica. He wrote a song for his daughter, Aimee, which appeared on the album Ozzmosis. Osbourne achieved greater celebrity status by the unlikely success of his own brand of reality television. The Osbournes, a series featuring the domestic life of Osbourne and his family (wife Sharon, children Jack and Kelly, but not Sharon's eldest daughter Aimee, who declined to participate). The program became one of MTV's greatest hits. It premiered on March 5, 2002, and the final episode aired March 21, 2005. In 2002, Osbourne and wife Sharon were invited to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner by Fox News Channel correspondent Greta Van Susteren for that year's event. President Bush noted Ozzy's presence by joking: "The thing about Ozzy is he's made a lot of big hit recordings: 'Party With the Animals'; 'Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath'; 'Facing Hell'; 'Black Skies and Bloodbath in Paradise.' Ozzy, Mom loves your stuff." During 2003, a member of Birmingham City Council campaigned for him to be given Freedom of the City. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are one of the UK's richest couples, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. They ranked at number 458 in the 2005 list, with an estimated £100 million earned from recording, touring and TV shows. They ranked above most British music stars, such as Rod Stewart, George Michael, Robbie Williams, the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts and Ron Wood, and Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Dire Straits members. Osbourne has shown symptoms of a mild hearing loss, as evidenced in the television show, The Osbournes, as he often asks his family members to repeat what they say. Osbourne and his Black Sabbath bandmates are supporters of Aston Villa Football Club. Ozzy was raised in Lodge Road, only a few hundred yards from the club's ground. (Credit to Wikipeadia) Please do not hotlink images - edited by persuazn
  5. Marisa Miller

    Well I'm glad to see that Marisa is still getting sexier as time goes on and that there are now even more dedicated fans.
  6. Marisa Miller

    Loved the show last night. Why did they keep calling her "Larisa"???
  7. Wolfmother

    Does anyone else listen to Wolfmother? I realling have only listened to Woman. Can anyone suggest any other songs? Bio Wolfmother are a Grammy and ARIA award-winning Australian hard rock band from Sydney. The band consists of Andrew Stockdale (vocals/guitar), Chris Ross (bass/keyboard/organ/synthesiser) and Myles Heskett (drums/percussion). After releasing their self-titled debut EP through Modular Recordings in September 2004, Wolfmother began appearing at several high profile music events, such as Homebake and the Big Day Out. The EP was a success, reaching #35 in the ARIA singles chart and receiving consistent radio play on Triple J. In 2005, the band made their way to Los Angeles, working alongside producer Dave Sardy (Marilyn Manson, Oasis) to record their eponymous debut album, released in October 2005. The first single to be released was "Mind's Eye"/"Woman" (a double A-side), making its debut on the Australian music charts at #29. The album itself entered the Australian Charts at #3 and has been a regular feature of the Top 20 ever since, having gone platinum three times. Wolfmother won the 2005 J Award from the Australian youth radio network Triple J for the best Australian album of the year, and finished the year with Falls Festival appearances. Rolling Stone magazine listed Wolfmother as one of their "Top 10 Bands to Watch 2006." They achieved a record breaking six songs in the influential 2005 Triple J Hottest 100, with "Mind's Eye" their highest entry at #6. This breaks the record of five songs previously held by Powderfinger, Queens of the Stone Age, Silverchair and The White Stripes. A 2006 poster advertising Wolfmother concerts.In 2006, they played their second Big Day Out tour in January, and released their second Australian single, "White Unicorn." The band performed at the Austin, Texas SXSW festival in March and Coachella in April where they were commonly cited as the 'breakout' band of the year. They also performed at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in May, and at the Oxegen festival and the Roskilde Festival in July. International success Andrew Stockdale during a performance in Tennessee, USA.Wolfmother have enjoyed considerable success in reaction to the mid-2000s Retro Metal movement, at which they are often considered the chief pioneer. Many of their songs have been featured in the advertising of many products including the Apple iPod, multiple Playstation 2 and Xbox 360 games, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer, and TV programs and movies such as "Jackass: Number Two," Dane Cook's "Tourgasm," "House," the 2006 Australian Football League (AFL) finals, and the Winter X Games 11. The band also made many promotional appearances. They appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on May 4, 2006. Additional stops in June 2006 included the 2006 MTV Movie Awards and "The Late Show with David Letterman," where Letterman would remark to a sweaty Stockdale in their interview "That was pretty damn cool!" In July, they played the famous T In The Park festival in Scotland. On August 1, 2006, Wolfmother appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" show before playing in San Diego's Street Scene. Chris Ross playing bass during a performance at SXSW 2006.Starting on July 14, 2006, Wolfmother played a total of 18 shows in Australia including the Splendour in the Grass music festival. On July 29, they played at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan before continuing their tour of US and Europe which included high profile music festivals such as Lollapalooza and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. On September 10, they took part in the inaugural North American V Festival in Toronto, Canada. On September 23, they were in Baltimore playing at the Virgin Music Festival. Wolfmother was also scheduled to appear at the Download Festival in San Francisco on September 30, but on September 25, bassist Chris Ross's wife had a baby. The baby was one month early and Wolfmother cancelled/postponed their dates in the following month. During this break, Wolfmother released their final single from the self-titled album, "Joker and the Thief," in Australia on October 28, where it reached #8 on the Australian Singles Chart, their highest position to date in Australia. Wolfmother resumed touring on November 4 in the United Kingdom. On November 9, 2006, Wolfmother appeared on the NBC late night talk show "Last Call with Carson Daly." On November 14, 2006, legendary hard rock/heavy metal band Led Zeppelin were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame; they asked Wolfmother to appear as their guests. The band covered the Led Zeppelin song "Communication Breakdown," a common Wolfmother concert vehicle before and since. Half way through the song, lead vocalist Robert Plant turned to guitarist Jimmy Page and famously remarked "These guys are pretty good!" Myles Heskett during a performance at SXSW 2006.During an interview in March 2006 Andrew and Myles created a 'Free the Gnomes!' design using the 'consequences' method, where each couldn't see what the other had drawn. The design was contributed to the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for the charity, Teenage Cancer Trust. On the February 13, 2007, it was announced on that the band would be playing at the Download Festival in June and the band where given the third headline spot on the first day (Friday June 8, 2007) in between Velvet Revolver and Dragonforce playing various songs from their self titled album. At the 2007 Grammy Awards, Wolfmother won the 'Best Hard-Rock Performance' award for their song "Woman." Prior to winning, Stockdale had jokingly discussed with reporters his prediction of "no chance" at the awards. They beat bands such as System of a Down, Tool and Nine Inch Nails to win the award. "I was a huge Tool fan back in the day, I saw them at Hordern Pavilion and Newcastle Uni," said Heskett about their nomination for the award. The band released an exclusive new song titled "Pleased to Meet You" on the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack through the label Record Collection. On May 12, 2007, they announced at Pointfest 20 that that would be their last concert in America for an undetermined amount of time. In June of 2007 they performed at the Bonnarroo Music and Arts festival in Manchester, TN on the second largest stage the event offers. On June 28, 2007, they headlined at Summerfest, "The World's Largest Music Festival", in Milwaukee, WI. On July 7, 2007 they will be performing in Sydney's Live Earth concert. Andrew Stockdale said in an interview "That will be our last show for this album. We will find out what a green note sounds like on the next record". According to an interview with Billboard, the band has begun recording for its second album, which is slated to be released in early 2008. Critical response While the band has gained much success, reception is divided. A Total Guitar review calls Wolfmother's music "ruddy marvellous", and Pitchfork praises them for "how capably they strike a balance between meaty vintage metal and crisp, stoner-rock melodies". Others hold that their music is too derivative of 70's rock; a Stylus Magazine review states "everything there is to say about them is best said by immediate reference to another band and Wolfmother always come up short in the comparison", while a largely positive Billboard review ends with "Next time, however, they'll have to give us more than just a tour of their uncle's vinyl collection". An allmusic review is more critical, calling their music "precious, inarticulate, [and] confused" when compared to that of their musical influences, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. (Credit ot Wikipedia)
  8. Marisa Miller

    When is the VSFS???
  9. Marisa Miller

    Thanks for the posts.
  10. Marisa Miller

    Thanks for all the pics!!!!
  11. Marisa Miller

    Did I hear something about another commercial?
  12. Marisa Miller

    Doesn't hurt to see them again. hahaha
  13. Marisa Miller

    Thanks for all the pics!!!!!!!
  14. Marisa Miller

    ^Thanks Julia. Yes you were.
  15. Marisa Miller

    Flirting with all the boys.
  16. Marisa Miller

    TR!!!!!! :trout: I see how you are!
  17. Marisa Miller

    Thanks for the post.
  18. Marisa Miller

    Maybe I will
  19. 200

  20. Marisa Miller

    ^ Thats not good. But she will counter that.
  21. Marisa Miller

    How can Marisa have at least one classic pic per year?
  22. Marisa Miller

    You're welcome. hahahah jkjk. Yea. Great job everyone.
  23. Marisa Miller

    Man i love that picture of her on the bike. The one that is in everyone's sig.