Thursday, May 31, 2012

Everyone Loves The Roots


I'm still trying to figure out how Jimmy Fallon pulled this one off but he has managed to land himself the hands down best house band in the history of house bands for his late night show. Every night he gets the sounds of The Roots to back him up and it seems as if every guests notices. Take a look at the video of all the shout outs to the band. Its pretty funny. Who doesn't love The Roots?

Goodbye Ween

"There are things in my life that no one can understand except Aaron" - This is what Mickey Melchiondo noted of his bandmate Aaron Freeman when they (also known by their stage names Dean and Gene Ween) put out their last album, La Cucaracha. "We kind of have a parallel life. We went through everything together: junior high school, being broke, getting evicted, meeting our wives, and ex wives, having kids. we make, penny-for-penny, the same income, because we don't do anything other than the band. He is like my brother. And a lot of getting this record together was getting back to that. But there are other things were I can talk to anyone but Aaron."

This is by far my favorite quote that I had ever read about the band Ween. It shows how connected these two men were on a level that most of us will ever be lucky enough to understand. Which is why it saddens me to relay the news of them breaking up this week. From the looks of it, it was an amicable split. Just time to do something else. But I for one will not be quick to forget the band that formed after these two met in an eighth grade typing class. 

In their 25 year run they released 17 studio and independent albums, as well as six live recordings. The band was known for its eclectic mix of sounds, from rock to pop to heavy metal to prog rock and electric. They were really a band for everyone. 

I would be wrong not to admit that Phish is what really got me into Ween. They loved covering their songs and that in turn made me more aware and in awe of what these men did. I am also lucky enough to say that I did have the opportunity to see them play live while I was in college and it was a treat. 

Ween you will be missed! 

John Mayer: Born and Raised


Last night I did something that I never really thought that I would do. I got home and found a package in my mailbox. It was from my older brother. He got the opportunity to meet John Mayer last week and was gracious enough to have him sign one of his new cd's for his music loving sister. The CD came with a note "This is the album of the year.... give it a chance". 

Now here is a brief background. I have had a love hate relationship with John Mayer for years. Some of his stuff I love and some of it I think is just cocky and terrible. I don't even know if I ever sat down and just listened to one of his records. Well last night this changed, and well to be completely honest I'm really glad that I gave his new album "Born and Raised" a chance. 

Its actually fantastic and ranks near the top of all the albums I've heard so far this year. To me John Mayers "Born and Raised" album shows the world that he is ready to redeem himself. Mayer knows that he has talent, something we can all agree on. But what I think sets this album apart from his past works is that he is finally starting to be humble to that talent. (Maybe the move to Montana wasn't such a bad idea). You can read it all over the record that he is genuinely regretful for his past arrogance and seems to be back to the place where making music makes him happy. And really isn't that all we can ask for from an artist?

Here are some of my favorite songs from the album (that if I haven't suggested by now, I suggest that you too give it a chance.)

First off is "Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey" with the overly depressing line:
"Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, water, water, water, sleep. Dreamt that someone missed me, wake up, shake it off, and repeat"


Next is "The Age of Worry" with my favorite lyrics:
"Close your eyes and clone yourself; build your heart an army
To defend your innocence; while you do everything wrong
Don't be scared to walk alone; Don't be scared to like it
There's no time that you must be home
So sleep where darkness falls"


Also love the song the album is named for "Born and Raised"
"So line on up, and take your place
And show your face to the morning
Cause one of these days you'll be born and raised
And it all comes on without warning"


And finally "Speak for Me" which if I had to choose could be my favorite. 
"Would have liked to know; have to learn to let it go
Show me something I can be; play a song that I can sing
Make me feel as I am free
Someone come speak for me"

She's Baaaack!

After taking a few months off to soak in the success of her recent album, Adele will be back on NBC on June 5th for what looks to be a great one hour special. It will include interviews and performances and I can guess one person that will be watching.... ME! Shocker.

Happy Thursday Everyone.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Song of the Day: In The Cold Cold Night

I absolutely love this song, and I haven't heard it in a while so I'm going to feature it today. Been in a Jack White/ White Stripes kick lately. This weekend I saw him on American Pickers trade his first jukebox and photo booth for a giant taxidermy elephant head. I never told you he was normal, just talented.

This song he takes the back seat and lets Meg take over the lead...

If You Haven't Yet

This one is going to be a keeper....

Dylan Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Congratulations are in order for Mr. Bob Dylan who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, at a ceremony at the White House yesterday. At the ceremony the President said of Dylan "There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music." He also added that the "unique gravel-y power" of his voice helped redefine "not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel".

Congrats Bob!

No Church in the Wild

Here is the latest collaboration between Jay Z and Kanye West. It features an elephant and a riot and its not too bad. Not fantastic but I've heard worse...The video is obviously better than the song. 



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Music News

Here is some other music news (in picture form) that you may have missed this past week.

Tenacious D performed an outdoor show for VEVO

Gregg Allman released a book

Sir Paul McCartney and The Queen merged their powers

Alice Cooper is an LA Kings fan

50 Cent helped out at the food bank

Picture of the Day

Street Art Tributes to MCA

Ever since the passing of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch passed away there has been street art tributes popping up everywhere. Take a look at some of the best.






Best Graduation Quotes

Yep, its that time of year again. Its graduation season. Last night while I was preparing dinner I watched a special on commencement speeches and it reminded me that there have been some pretty great advice given in these speeches over the last few years. So today I highlight some of my favorite ones. I wish my speaker at JMU the year I graduated was as good as one of these, unfortunately I do not remember one word she said. And I promise it had nothing to do with my 45 minutes of sleep from the night before.... 

Here is your inspiration for the day.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition… Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005

“There’s no there. That elusive ‘there’ with the job, the beach house, the dream, it’s not out there. There is here. It’s in you… right now.” – Brian Kenny, Ohio Northern University, 2007

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.” –Winston Churchill, Harrow School, 1941

“If you want to play a game, go to where it’s played and find a way to get in. Things happen when you get in the game.” – Chris Matthews, Temple University, 2011

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default.” – JK Rowling, Harvard University, 2008

“Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.” – Jon Stewart, The College of William & Mary 2004

“It is likely that human beings will find fulfillment and will be rewarded for the same qualities that they have been rewarded for for 5,000 years. And that is intelligence, hard work, honesty, a sense of character, loyalty to family and friends, and above all, love and faith. If you are trying to decide what you should do, those are the things you should do. And you know it.” – Fareed Zakaria, Bates College, 2009

“You cannot continue to succeed in the world or have a fulfilling life in the world unless you choose to use your life in the service somehow to others and give back what you have been given. That’s how you keep it. That’s how you get it. That’s how you grow it.” – Oprah Winfrey, Howard University, 2007

“Success is a lot like a bright, white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you’re desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it in any way.” – Conan O’Brien, Harvard University, 2000

“Nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never.” – Woody Hayes, The Ohio State University, 1986

“So I will end with this quote: Hey ya Hey ya Hey ya Hey ya Hey ya Hey ya Hey ya alright alright alright alright alright alright. The group: OutKast. The song: "Hey Ya!" The lyrics: Nonsense. I’m sorry, it was really late when I wrote this.” –Amy Poehler , Harvard University, 2011

Muppet Blooper Reel??

Who wants to see an 8+ minute blooper reel from the Muppet movie? I do! I do!

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, here is a funny video to easy you back into this short work week.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dave Grohl For the Win

Could I love Dave Grohl any more? I don't think its possible...

Andy Samberg's Speech At Harvard


SNL star Andy Samberg spoke at Harvard's graduation this week and he followed in the great footsteps that people like Amy Poeler, Will Farrel, Conan O'Brien and Sasha Barren Cohen before him and did a fantastic job. Way to go Andy!

Worst. Cover. Ever.


Hello my friends. Sorry for my lack of posts in the last 24 hours but things have just been insane! Hopefully I have a little time to visit here today but I know it won't be much so right now I'll wish you a happy Friday, a great holiday weekend and the hopes that you are off to do something fun.

And to kick off your holiday weekend I bring you the absolute worst cover of "The Final Countdown" that I have ever seen in my whole life. So bad its funny. 

Yay for Fridays!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Blink 182 Girl... Now

Remember that Blink 182 album that featured that tattooed nurse on the cover? Well take a look at her now...

Whats her age again?

Staples Center Conversion


If you watch a lot of sports like myself I'm sure you asked yourself at least once over this past weekend "how the heck is the Staples Center in L.A. going to hold Kings, Clippers and Lakers games all within 24 hours?" Well this video shows you how, and its easily the coolest thing you will see all day. Enjoy. 

Jack White at Roseland Ballroom

Last night I had the unique opportunity to listen to the Jack White show live from NYC's famed Roseland Ballroom on my living room couch. It was a special that Sirius/XM was having on one of their stations and it was a treat to be able to get a sneak peak of what his tour will be like this summer. 

All fans of Jack White would have been impressed by last nights performance. I am actually looking forward to talking to my friend Christian who was actually in the room to see the difference between hearing and seeing live. I have a feeling that both him and I had a great time. 

The show was pretty much non stop with only a few pauses in between songs. The only real long pause was for a joke he told to the audience. The set list was pretty varied, playing songs from the variety of bands that he has been apart of over the last few years, but most of the songs came from his latest album, Blunderbuss. 

My favorite part of the show was the encore which included my favorite Raconteurs song "Steady, As She Goes" and then went into a delightful new song "Take Me With You When You Go". He put a close to the night with the White Stripes song "Seven Nation Army" and the whole thing seemed to be taken to a new level with the singalong to the bass riff. 

All and all Jack did what he does best. Put on a damn good rock and roll show. Bravo. Here is the set list. 

Set list:
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground 
Missing Pieces
Sixteen Saltines
Hypocritical Kiss
I Cut Like a Buffalo 
Top Yourself 
Two Against One 
Black Math 
Hello Operator 
Weep Themselves to Sleep
You Know That I Know
Blunderbuss 
Ball and Biscuit 
--
Freedom At 21
Steady As She Goes
Take Me With You When You Go
Catch Hell Blues
Seven Nation Army

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Everclear - I Will Buy You A New House

While we are talking about things from the 90s let me talk to you about a band whose cd has came back into heavy rotation lately. Yes I'm talking about Everclear. I love this band, something about them just always resinated with me. So here is a song of theirs that I absolutely adore. 

Wear Sunscreen

Okay I'm bringing it back to 1999 with this one. Do you remember that silly song that came back when we were finishing up high school about "Remember to Always Wear Sunscreen". Well this morning on my way to work it came across the radio and I couldn't help but thing. "Damn looking back at this 10+ years later its scary how much of this advice is already true". The video is above, the lyrics are below. I'll highlight the real important parts. 

"Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.

But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how...

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen."

Worst. Performance. Ever.


I can not even believe I'm wasting breath talking about this loser on my blog but I have to call him out on what is easily the worst lip syncing performance I have ever seen in my life. Congratulations Chris Brown you have proved yet again why you do not deserve to be given this type of stage at any point in your career. Learn to sing live or just stay home. 

For example I could care less who these next people are a new boy band? The Wanted? But they sang live and in my book are leagues ahead of you Chris. 

The Last Time

Arcade Fire joined Mick Jagger for his first song on SNL on Saturday and in my opinion it was the best musical performance of the night (although Jeff Beck playing the blues was a very close second!). Take a look at Arcade and Mick throwing down on the classic "The Last Time". You also can see the looks on all the bands faces that it was one of the coolest moments of the careers. So much fun!

Top 5 SNL Goodbye Sketches

The good people over at buzzfeed have compiled a great list of the top five SNL cast departure sketches. I almost forgot how good some of these were. Follow the link below for videos from some of the best who have ever graced the SNL stage.

Please Hold

Post on are hold today until I get out of "time out". Yes thats right, things are so stressful that I have imposed my own time out on myself. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Two Favorites Collide

I just read that British folk rockers Mumford & Sons have written a new song for Pixar's upcoming film, Brave. It features U.K. singer Birdy on vocals. 

I can't wait to hear what these two great artists come up with!

Best Beards In Music

Well last week I brought you to the poll going on over at Rolling Stone Magazine about who has the best beards in music and well I'm happy to let you know I finally have a list for you. 

Here it goes and again not my list but the public. Don't get mad at me. 

1. ZZ Top (duh!)
2. Andy Williams from Every Time I Die
3. Tim Millar from Protest the Hero
4. Sam Beam from Iron & Wine
5. Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra (picture above)
6. Jamey Johnson
7. Sky White from Foxy Shazam 
8. Josh T. Pearson from Lift to Experience
9. Shavo from System of a Down
10. George Harrison 
11. Devendra Banhart
12. Tony Kaye
13. Rick Ruben
14. Ben Bridewell from Band of Horses
15. Kerry King of Slayer

Story of the Day

Now this is my type of parenting. Over the weekend after author ReShonda Tate Billingsley found her daughter posting alcohol-related photos to Facebook, she came up with what is no doubt an effective form of punishment. 

Following up is the post her mother deemed inappropriate is a new photo that features the young girl holding a hand written sign that reads "Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor I am obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what I should and should not post. Bye Bye."

HAHA. Moms always win. 

Dear Miley

Dear Miley Cyrus, 

Last night while breezing through the Billboard Music Awards I happened to get a glance of what you wore to present an award. 

What the heck are you doing? Not only did you forget to wear pants. You hair is straight out of Jersey circa 1988 and well, your entire top is inappropriate. I don't care that you are now 18 and "can do what you want".  You made your millions off of the worship of little tiny girls. Why push them away with an outfit like this?

You are trying too hard. Waaaay too hard.

Okay that is my stand for the day. Carry on.

In West Philadelphia Born and Raised....


There are many reasons to love the Graham Norton Show over in England. The best reason is because he gets celebrities to do the craziest things, things that normally they wouldn't do in America or even in real life. Like this past weekend when he got Will Smith to rap the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Something that anyone my age 1. knows by heart 2. has been waiting over 10 years to hear him do it live again. And yes its as fantastic as you can imagine. See the video above for proof. 

Lazy Sunday 2

Another great thing about Saturday Night Live this weekend was the return of Lazy Sunday, this time properly titled... Lazy Sunday 2. We find the boys pretty much where they left off a few years back. If you actually think about it, the original Lazy Sunday is the reason why youtube really took off. I remember it was the first video link to the site that I ever received. Yes I'm sure it could have easily been a cat bowling but it wasn't, it was a smart cool digital short. Now imagine your life without youtube. Crazy right. 

Anyways back to the video, this time they are off to see Sister Act on Broadway and well just like the first one they knock it out of the park. Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell are hilarious. Its rumored that this was also Andy's last show although nothing has been announced. If it is, its fitting that he book ended his SNL career with a Digital Short another thing like Wiig that helped keep this show running the last few years. 

Best SNL of the Season

Well Saturday Night Live ended their season on a high note this weekend. Not only did Mick Jagger kill it both as host and as musical guest but the final sketch goodbye tribute they did to Kristen Wiig was just magical.

There is nobody more deserving in my mind for this type of tribute then Kristen. There may have been better cast members in SNL history but nobody had to deal with what Kristen had to. She basically has carried the show on her back for literally the last 3-4 years. She is the name to the show, the reason why everyone was tuning in and week after week she failed to disappoint. She was a class act and someone that I will certainly miss having on my tv screen weekly. Upside is that this now frees her up to do more movies like Bridesmaids and will get her hopefully to the type of stardum that she deserves. 

Anyone who doesn't choke up at this tribute I'm pretty sure you don't have a soul. 
Goodbye Kristen. 

RIP Robin Gibbs

Sorry to start this week off on such a sad note and even though we saw this coming it doesn't make it any easier. 

Robin Gibbs of the Bee Gees died Sunday at the age of 62 following a battle with cancer.
Gibbs, who had been hospitalized for pneumonia and had surgery to remove a growth from his colon, was central to the Bee Gees’ success both as a songwriter and a vocalist. His twin Maurice died in 2003.
Robin Gibbs was the original lead singer of the iconic band that traversed a wide range of musical styles and soared to stardom in the 1970s with hits from the soundtrack to the movie Saturday Night Fever.
The Bee Gees were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
They released their final album in 2001.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lady Gaga Invades the Simpsons

Lady Gaga is The Simpsons guest star Sunday for their season finale. From the promos it doesn't look like it will be a terrible episodes with what is sure to be some pretty great jabs at Gaga's whole gig. 

Take a look at the previews below.

Richest Musician In The World

Somewhere today Bono is sitting laughing. Today is a big day for Bono who is poised to take over Paul McCartney's spot of the Richest Musician in the World. How did he do it? Not exactly how you thought...

Back in 2009 the U2 front man was wise enough to buy into the social medial network Facebook, purchasing 2.3% of its shares through his private equity firm, Elevation Partners. While they bought the shares for $90 million three years ago, the shares are now valued at over $1.5 billion! 

That is insane. Congrats Bono on that move!

As It Seems - Lily Kershaw


Well I knew
What I didn't want to know
And I saw
Where I didn't want to go
So I took the path less traveled on
And I'll let my stories be whispered
When I'm gone... 

When I'm gone
When I'm gone
When I'm gone

Well in this life you must find something to live for
Cause when the darkness comes a callin'
You'll go back to where you were before
Cause this life is as
Fragile as a dream, and
Nothing's ever really
As it seems... 

As it seems
As it seems
As it seems
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsty.com/lily-kershaw-as-it-seems-lyrics.html ]
Well I lost my innocence when in I let him dive
But the way that he looked at me
Made me feel alive
And now I know
Nothin' at all
But the release that comes when you're
In mid fall... 

In mid fall
In mid fall
In mid fall

Cause in this life you must find something to live for
Cause when the darkness comes a callin'
You'll go back to where you were before
Cause this life is as
Fragile as a dream, and
Nothing's ever really
As it seems... 

As it seems
As it seems
As it seems

Ke$ha Cleans Up?


Who would have thought that Ke$ha could clean up? I heard about this yesterday but I didn't quite believe it until I saw the picture today. I have to say, she looks somewhat normal. Weird. ha. 

Mick Jagger on SNL



The one and only Mick Jagger will be hosting the season finale of Saturday Night Live this weekend. It should be good for a few reasons. There are a ton of skits they can do with the man, he is also going to be the musical guests, and we can expect a lot of Kristen Wiig. Why? Because sadly this will probably be her last show on the 30 rock stage. 

Lets pause for a moment to remember what a great cast pick she has been. Have I mentioned that she was the first SNL female cast member to be nominated for an Oscar. Yeah. Here are some other great characters!

-Kat, half of the musical duo Garth and Kat
-Dooneese on the Lawrence Welk Show
-Gilly
-Sue, who can't control her excitement over surprises 
-The Target Lady
-Chery Bryant, TV game show host
-Judy the nervous travel agent
-Aunt Linda - hard to please movie critic

And real life people like:
-Bjork, Suze Orman, Lana Del Rey, Kathie Lee Gifford, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Taylor Swift, Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Bachmann and Kris Jenner. 

Not really sure what SNL is going to do without her. Lets not think about that and just enjoy the show on Saturday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Too Good


Ok I Lied

I know I had just said that I wasn't going to post today but I just heard of two legends who have passed away in the last 24 hours. First the legendary Chuck Brown the godfather of go-go and now the queen of disco Donna Summer. 

More about these two tomorrow but I would be wrong if I didn't post tributes to these two great artists today.

First Chuck - A Video Tribute to the Legend

And now a few from Donna Summer:

"Last Dance"

"She Works Hard for her Money"

RIP to Chuck and Donna. Heaven surely is dancing today!

No Posts Today

No posts for today. Sorry but sometimes a girl needs a break.

I will say this, a very happy birthday to one of my best friends Daria. I miss you more than you know. Sorry I can't make your party this weekend its those damn 400 miles again that always seems to keep us apart. 

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Taken in some bar in NYC following the marathon. xoxo

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Talk O Bell


Are you familiar with Diablo Cody's Red Band Trailers? If not you should be, I've written about them on here before. She invites big name starts to interview in her trailer. Its genius. This weeks edition stars Kristen Bell. Its fabulous, they even talk Veronica Mars!!

Enjoy.

Hey NBA Players

What is up with the hipster dork glasses everyone is rocking these days? You all look weird. Stop. :)

15 Years Ago

Above you see the top five singles from 15 years ago. I'm officially old!!!

Ahhh!

Black Sabbath's Bill Ward is Out!

In a note posted to his website Bill Ward drummer for the original Black Sabbath has officially pulled out of all of the reunion gigs citing that he just can not come to terms with his old bandmates. This is too bad, as the reunion was set to kick off this upcoming weekend in England, it would have been their first show together since 2005. 

According to him, Ward says that the group asked him to play drums on three songs during their set at the Download Festival in June, an offer he refused. Then on May 9th he said Sabbath asked him to play this Saturdays gig for free without any guarantee that he'd get to perform at the other shows, which he again turned town. The original members have vowed to continue on without him. 

Too bad...

Here is the letter posted to his website. 

Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,
I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won't be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.
It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I'm very, very sorry that it's fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality.
To express my thoughts about you, the Sabbath fans, I'm going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, "is your brother playing Birmingham? What's going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets."
The man's son is a young drummer. He's going to see Sabbath, and he wants to see Bill Ward play drums. Upon hearing this news, I felt horrible. I couldn't help feeling some resentment towards the failure to reach an agreement, the failure to remember where we came from, the failure to be as brothers, as we once were. To be clear, I'm not blaming the other guys or finding any faults with them. I would think it can't be easy for them either, but this situation is just really sad. It's sad that it's come to this. "This" will surely leave a mark and be unwelcome to the memory. Hopefully "this" will heal and pass in time.
My heart sank when Jimmy told me about this young boy. I know this boy is going to be disappointed, and I don't know how to amend it, other than to put my arms around the boy and tell him I love him. Sabbath fans have a voice and a face, to me you're human, you have families and despair. You have ferocity and emotions and graciousness, and at this moment as far as I'm concerned you are also that young boy in England. I don't know how to amend my part in these failings other than to put my arms around you and say I love you and let you know I'm very, very sorry.
Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. I know in my heart I couldn't have done these concerts by agreeing the terms suggested. I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I'm doing it.
Earlier in April 2012, I'd been asked to participate "minimally" in the Download festival. I believe I'd been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath. I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs.
I found out about the Birmingham gig on Monday, April 30 through the Internet ad. I was taken aback somewhat by the date, and the fact it was Birmingham. Knowing the "signable" contract negotiations were at best in shreds, I was upset by the idea that the band was going to play Birmingham and play it assumedly without me. I had no prior knowledge of the date and location, and I felt totally excluded. We contacted the representative for Black Sabbath to see if something could be worked out. In the meantime my drum crew and I, along with our US endorsers, finished all the necessary planning for a swift departure to the UK. There wasn't a whole lot to complete; we'd all been on standby more or less since mid-January 2012. The remaining work in the UK was confirmed done by our European and UK endorsers and we were good to go by Friday, May 4 2012. There were two stress points: firstly, getting an agreement in place, and secondly, getting to England in a timely manner. Jetlag time was taken into account as well as drum practice, a drum practice room in the heart of Birmingham, accommodation, and travel arrangements were all in place to meet with any band rehearsals that may have transpired before the Birmingham show. So far everything that had been arranged was on my dime, but we didn't move ahead without a realistic confirmation.
Communications between the representative and my lawyer continued through the weekend of May 5 finalizing on Wednesday, May 9. The offer we received on May 9 was, "come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes." I was tempted. Playing for free would not have been a problem for me, but "seeing how the first show goes" left an element of risk which could have affected Download. My ideal thought was to play in full the Birmingham show, in full Download, and in full Lollapalooza.
I had notified the representative that May 10 was my cutoff day in order to have good lead-in time for England. On the night of May 9 I asked for a brief letter to be sent to the representative asking to find out if we were at an end. On the morning of Thursday, May 10, I received a reply in the affirmative. After consulting with my advisors and crew a decision was made to let go and stop.
I can't prioritize the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. I can't do that. All of you are important. It's all the gigs or none at all. I can't come to Birmingham and "see what happens" knowing there is a risk of not being able to play Download or Lollapalooza. Again, for me, it's all or nothing. I had to say "no" to Birmingham on the principle of wanting to play all the shows. Saying no to Birmingham is very difficult for me. My family grew up in Birmingham. Black Sabbath grew up in Birmingham. It's still my hometown and I resent having to arrive at such a difficult choice.
Although the statement was made that, "the door is always open" for me, as explained above, walking through that door is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many complicated issues and unseen and unspoken agendas on hand. I can assure you, my criteria for a "signable" contract is based in mindful principles, respectability, and acknowledgement of my history within the band.
I hold no malice or resentment towards the other band members. I love them; I'm tolerant of them; I'm frustrated with them, as they may be with me. My fight has never been with them. I'll love them forever. In my opinion, nobody wins this time; the band doesn't win; the fans for an original lineup don't win. Nobody wins, nobody. Even the ones who thought they did. I didn't want to make this decision, but I have to be honest and transparent. This is the statement I didn't want to write; it's the last thing I wanted to do. But, I have written it, and now it can go into the universe.
Since Spring of 2011, I've waited patiently and hopefully for a signable contract, you know the rest. I stand for the boy in the U.K., for the coming drum student, for all the drummers, who write their parts out and get stiffed on the publishing, I stand with the Sabbath fans chanting "Bill Ward" and asking "why?" and I stand with Tony and Geezer and Ozzy.
On a final note, even though I'm at an end with the upcoming announced concerts, I will remain with an open mind and a position of willingness to negotiate "signable" terms with Sabbath's representatives in the future.
Stay strong.
Stay safe.
With all my heart and strength, I love you,
Bill Ward